Easy As…

The famous expression “easy as pie” should actually be “easy as galette!” Those of you who have attempted to make the perfect pie (and I don’t mean those who use frozen piecrust) with less than desirable results know exactly what I mean. Pie crusts need to be kept at specific temperatures, never over-mixed and definitely take some skill. Galettes, on the other hand are much more forgiving. They don’t require a fancy fluted edge or exact measurements. Galette dough is easily made in a food processor. Its freeform shape is perfect for the less-than-professional baker.

What is a galette, you ask? The term galette is used primarily to refer to rustic, freeform tarts made with a single crust of pastry or bread dough, like a pizza. If the filling is very moist, the sides of a galette may be folded up and over to contain the juices. The edges may be simply crimped and left flat.

The term galette has another definition that is tied to the French word galet, meaning a smooth, flat pebble. Some food historians explain that the very earliest breads were indeed galettes — simple, unleavened breads made by smearing thick batter or paste on hot stones.

Galettes can be sweet or savory. They may contain any filling from fruit or vegetables to meat or even cheesecake-type fillings.

Cabbage and Mushroom Galette

For the pastry:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold margarine, cut into pieces

1/3 cup ice water


3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

2 medium yellow onions, sliced

16 ounces shredded cabbage

1 teaspoon salt, divided

Freshly ground pepper to taste

6 portobello mushroom caps, peeled and scraped clean

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup dry red wine

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and margarine and process for about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds; you should still be able to see small pieces of margarine in it. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic and refrigerate until chilled. (You can also roll out the pastry and use it right away.)

To prepare filling:

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions; cook, stirring, until translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greatly reduced and golden, 40 to 50 minutes. Season with a dash of pepper.

Cut the caps into 1-inch pieces. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat.

Cook garlic, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and remaining salt. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add wine; cook, until it cooks away, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms to the cabbage.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

On a sheet of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a 15-inch circle. Go slowly; and if it cracks, just press the pieces together.

Dust with flour as needed and keep the circle as even as you can, but don’t worry about rough edges.

Spread the cabbage-mushroom mixture over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border. Use the parchment to lift the edges of the pastry and fold loosely over the filling in 2- or 3-inch sections. It may crack as you fold it, but that’s fine. Transfer the galette, on the parchment, onto a baking sheet.

Bake the galette for 35–40 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes on the baking sheet. Lift parchment and galette onto a platter; slide the parchment out. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.