Heirloom Tomato Galette
These galettes were served at our dinner in the studio of artist Elizabeth Buchanan in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. They were part of a dish called “Heirloom tomatoes, 2 ways”. Some of Elizabeth’s latest work are photographs which have been symmetrically mirrored. The resulting printed image contains the grace of the original photo, but also morphs into something new, a statement of duality and change from one form to another. This idea inspired me to present the heirloom tomato in its raw form with a classic splash of balsamic, and then along side baked in pastry.
For the pastry crust:
- 25 oz. All-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 sticks cold butter, cut into slices
- 1/3 cup cold vodka
- 1/3 cup cold water
In the food processor, pulse the flour and salt for a few seconds to combine. Leave it on and add the butter slices slowly (1 mississippi, 2 mississippi). Turn it off and go grab your cold water and vodka. (You don’t want to let the food processor run longer then needed since the heat will build up and melt your butter). Turn it back on and slowly pour in the liquid until the dough ball forms. Remove from the cup, wrap in plastic, and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
For the red onion jelly:
- 2 large red onions, small diced
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Throw it all in a pan and stir, bring it to a quick simmer, then reduce the heat and cook until the onions are soft and liquid is reduced, about 15-20 minutes.
For the tomatoes:
- 4 cups heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Homemade pesto (roasted pine nuts, basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil, parmesan)
Spread the tomato slices out on a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for 15 minutes so they release some moisture. Pat dry with a towel then toss with the pesto.
For the assembly:
Take out the cold dough and kneed it a but to soften it up. Find a nice clean surface and spread some flour around. Start with a ball of dough about the size of a lime. Flatten with your palm on the flour surface. Using a french rolling pin, start to roll out the dough. Starting at the center, work the dough up to 12 o clock, then down to 6 o clock. Starting from the center again, roll it over to 9 o clock then to 3 o clock. You’re shooting for a round shape about the size of a tortilla and no more than 1/4″ thick.
Drop a spoonfull of red onion jelly in the center, then a tablespoon of grated parmesan, then the tomato slices. Now grab the outer edges of the dough circle and fold them over and in, pressing down slightly so that the newly formed galette stays together and holds it shape. There should be a little peek of tomato showing through the top. Sprinkle a little more grated parmesan on top of the peeking tomatoes. Using a floured spatula, place the finished galette on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Repeat until you run out of something. Place baking sheet in the center rack in a preheated 400F oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is very light brown.