A galette is basically a free-form, open-face tart — easy, rustic — and a great way to showcase the season’s late-summer veg, especially local tomatoes. If you can, seek out ripe, heirloom varieties and a combination of different sizes and colors. As for the crust, feel free to use your favorite pie crust or make the recipe I’ve included here, which combines grated Parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper. This is a basic recipe, so experiment with your favorite vegetables, herbs and cheeses. For a non-soggy mess, it’s important to salt and drain the tomatoes ahead of time. This tart is delicious as is, or serve with a green salad.
Tomato cheddar galette
Makes one (12-inch) galette
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan (or Gruyere or cheddar cheese)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk (save the white for egg wash)
3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold milk (or water)
3 to 4 large ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch thick slices (1½ to 2 pounds)
1 scant teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)
8 ounces firm flavorful cheese, such as cheddar or Gruyere, coarsely grated
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs, such as dill, parsley, chives, or basil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Egg wash (egg white + 1 teaspoon water or milk; for a more golden color use another whole egg)
1. Combine flour, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor and pulse just to combine. Mix in butter with a pastry blender or two forks or pulse a few times until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Whisk together egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of milk and pour into flour mixture, pulsing or mixing by hand, until dough comes together and starts to form a ball. If dough is still dry, add up to another tablespoon of milk/water. Press together with lightly floured hands and form into a flat round; wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour and up two days. Note: Dough can be frozen and thawed just before using.
2. Slice tomatoes and place on thick paper towels layered on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan; let drain of excess liquid, 20 to 30 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine cheese, mayo, turmeric, if using, fresh herbs and green onions. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out dough, using a rolling pin, on a lightly-floured surfaced to a 12-inch round (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Fold dough in half and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and unfold into a full circle. Spread the cheese-herb-mayo mixture over the bottom of the dough, leaving about a 2-inch border. Top with tomatoes, slightly overlapping them. Fold the border, pinching or pleating dough together, all the way around to form a rim. The center will be open, with only about 2 inches of dough covering the tomatoes.
3. Combine egg and milk and brush the folded-in rim of crust. Sprinkle lightly with more grated Parmesan, if desired and a few cracks of freshly-ground black pepper. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown, rotating baking sheet halfway through to ensure even cooking. Let cool 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool more. Serve warm or at room temperature.