This morning I discovered the saddest looking bunch of spring onions I think I’ve ever seen. I felt guilty. You see, I have a knack for being over excited at the food store which sometimes leads me to purchase goods that once home, I sometimes forget about for a
week couple of days: and sadly these spring onions are the latest victim of this trait of mine. To alleviate my guilt I knew I would have to think quick smart of a recipe that these spring onions could be used in, oh and they MUST be cooked, there is no way in the world these sad little babies can be eaten in the current state, I mean I don’t feel that guilty.
I initially thought of frying up the spring onions until they were caramelised, sweet and tender and adding them to a quiche Lorraine for some added spring zesty freshness but the thought of blind baking pastry shells sent shudders down my spine, similar to the ones you get when you hear someone drag finger nails down a blackboard. Uh, I am in no mood for dealing with fiddly pastry today. But I couldn’t shake the idea of a tart like scenario for the spring onions and then I remembered the one magic word...galette.
The word galette sounds fancy but it isn’t. A galette is really just a free form (lazy woman’s) tart that requires no blind baking and is very forgiving for first timers or the time poor. I love the rustic look of a galette and the versatility it offers. A galette can be savoury or sweet, depending on the ingredients you use and is perfect for any time of the year.
Today, I started by thinly slicing my sad spring onions into tiny rounds and fried them in a little extra virgin olive oil until they were beautifully caramelised. I then went a little cheese crazy and grabbed ricotta, goats cheese, parmesan, mozzarella and crème fraiche from the fridge and combined them in a bowl until smooth, to this I added the zest of one lemon and the cooled spring onions. I seasoned the mixture and couldn’t resist having a little taste test to ensure everything was working harmoniously together, yum yum yum...it was perfect. As today is a fuss free day I felt no guilt whatsoever retrieving two sheets of shortcrust pastry from the deep freeze. Once thawed I then heaped half of the cheese mixture onto each sheet (leaving a border) and folded the edges over in a very rustic, home cook kind of fashion (no fancy crimping here). I baked the galettes for 30 minutes until golden and set.
Whilst in the oven I couldn’t help but throw together a very simple apple spring salad. I sliced the apple into wafer thin semi circles and tossed them with rocket, spinach and mint leaves. You should also know that I have a new favourite dressing which I knew would work perfectly with the apple salad, it’s a combination of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey and chopped mint leaves...it’s a beautifully balanced spring time dressing that I just adore for its sweet zesty freshness. I also discovered some hazelnuts in the pantry so I added them to the salad also. Finished. Easy peasy.
The galette’s emerged from the oven bubbling beautifully, the smell of grilled cheese filled the kitchen and I knew I had done justice to the once neglected spring onions. I waited very patiently for the galette’s to sufficiently cool (having a burnt mouth is one of life’s biggest travesties) and then I dug right in. The golden pastry provided the perfect buttery nest to the mixture of caramelised grilled cheese and sweet burnished onions, I was in heaven. The apple salad was pure synergy with the galette. So happy with this lunch and now I shall rest easy, completely guilt free. Enjoy K xxx
Goat's cheese & spring onion galette
Adapted from Delicious magazine October 2010 issue
2 sheets of shortcrust pastry
2 bunches spring onions, thinly sliced
140g soft goat's cheese
1/2 cup (120g) ricotta
3/4 cup (75g) coarsely grated mozzarella
1/4 cup (60g) creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup (20g) grated parmesan
zest of a lemon
Apple Spring Salad:
A big handful of rocket, spinach and mint leaves
1 apple, sliced thinly
1 handful of hazelnuts, roasted
¼ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp mustard
Warm the oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add the spring onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Combine the spring onion, goat's cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, creme fraiche, parmesan and zest then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fill the centre of both sheets of pastry with the cheese mixture, leaving a 5cm border around the edge. Fold the edge over the filling and roughly pleat. (Before adding the cheese mixture I sliced off the four corners of each pastry sheet, in order to resemble a very rustic circle, I found this helped me when folding up the edges of the galette.)
Bake the galette for 35-40 minutes until golden and set.
For the salad, in a bowl combine the apple, rocket, spinach and mint leaves, toss to combine. For the dressing combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined. Dress the apple and salad with the vinaigrette and serve with the galette.