Serving up a slice of comfort

| 04 Jan 2017 | 11:57

I’m craving comfort food – simple, hearty and familiar. It might be the chill in the air or more likely post-election uncertainty, and while food won’t solve either, eating well and feeding friends and family is an act of healing and love we can all participate in.

Look past the fancy French name, and the galette qualifies as comfort food. It’s crunchy and creamy, warm and nourishing, vegan and homemade. The dough is fashioned with flour, refined coconut oil and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, the secret ingredient for a flaky, tender crust. Unlike pizza dough, there’s no yeast, kneading or rising necessary, so it can be on the table within an hour. This galette takes its inspiration from a classic leek and potato soup. The subtle flavor of the leeks is elevated with white wine and fresh thyme then layered with thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes, macerated in a paste of roasted garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Nestle both into the dough, then fold the edges toward the center, creating a rustic free-form pastry. The filling is limited only by your imagination. Kale and garlicky white beans, wild mushrooms and spinach, butternut squash and caramelized onions or a medley of roasted root vegetables are a few options to get you started.

End your meal with a slice of comfort, too. Transform your galette from savory to sweet by adding a tablespoon of sugar to the dough mixture and swapping the vegetables with your favorite local fruit.

Leek and potato galette


For the pastry

1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup chilled refined coconut oil

¼ cup ice water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For the filling

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced

¼ cup white wine

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and parboiled for 5 minutes

2 tablespoons roasted garlic

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Place coconut oil in the flour and cut in with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly. Mix the apple cider vinegar and water together. Add one tablespoon at a time to the mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until dough holds together. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add leeks and sauté 5 minutes. Add wine, ½ teaspoon of the thyme, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, pepper and cook on low heat an additional 5 minutes. Set aside.

Place the potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover and parboil for 5 minutes. Drain, cool slightly then slice thinly. In a medium bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, the remaining ½ teaspoon thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add potatoes and coat well.

Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll into a circle approximately 1/8” thick. Transfer to a stone or sheet pan. Place a single layer of potato slices on the dough, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border all around. Spoon the leeks on top of the potatoes, then place another layer of potatoes over them, leaving the leeks in the center uncovered. Carefully fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pleating to hold it in. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.