How to make a vegetarian cheese and greens galette

The great joy of a galette is its rustic, freeform nature.
The great joy of a galette is its rustic, freeform nature. Photo: William Meppem

This rustic tart has the perfect combo of crunchy pastry, silverbeet, zucchini and leeks, with just enough cheese to keep them coming back for more.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed to white parts only
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 300g silverbeet leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 100g sharp vintage cheddar, diced

Pastry

  • 200g plain flour, sifted
  • 125g butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp cold sparkling water

METHOD

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, diced butter, sour cream and salt until it looks like coarse sand. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing, until the dough comes together in a ball. Flatten into a round disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frypan and cook the leek and zucchini for 5 minutes until softened. Add the silverbeet, sea salt, pepper and a dash of water, and cook over low heat, covered, for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally until the leaves soften and wilt. Drain off any juices and set aside to cool.
  3. Heat the oven to 200C fan-forced (220C conventional). Place the pastry on a large sheet of floured baking paper and roll out to about 28cm wide. Brush with mustard and scatter with parmesan.
  4. Spoon the leek, zucchini and silverbeet filling onto the pastry, leaving a 4cm border around the edges, then crimp and fold the edges of the pastry towards the centre to form a rim.
  5. Beat the egg and cumin with a dash of water and use the mixture to brush the rim. Scatter with fennel seeds and sea salt. Pour the remaining egg over the vegetables, and scatter diced cheddar over the top.
  6. Use the baking paper to gently lift the galette onto a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce to 170C fan-forced (190C conventional) for a further 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4

Need to know

  • The great joy of a galette is its rustic, freeform nature. Its shape doesn't have to be perfect, and neither do you.
  • The secret to good pastry is to keep the butter chilled, because it's the tiny pockets of fat enrobed in the flour that make the pastry crisp and flaky. Chilling the dough for half an hour also prevents it shrinking in the oven.
  • Save the silverbeet stalks for another meal, tossed in a pasta sauce, perhaps.
  • Leeks bring a lovely vegetal sweetness, but you can also use onions. Just cook them twice as long as the leeks to bring out their natural sugars.
  • The bitier the cheese, the better. This is a good way to use up scraps of cheddar, gruyere or blue cheese in the fridge.
  • If the vegetable filling is too juicy, it will sog up the crust, so drain off any excess juice. It's the combination of crisp crust and soft, cheesy greens that's the magic.
  • You want to get fancy? Scatter with toasted walnuts and serve with home-made tomato sauce.

Each month, food writer and cook Jill Dupleix guides us through the making of a classic dish.