Summer echoed this week with one last indulgence of warm sunshine gleaming through russet-leaved trees. At the market, brassica greens were piled high next to radishes, turnips, and opulent pumpkins and squashes parading their peculiar skins. Plotting workshops for this autumn and winter in locations as far flung as Colombia and the Andean Highlands of Ecuador, I took a little break to prepare this seasonally appropriate version of the Tomato and Lebany Galette in my new cookbook Sourdough.
I have always tried to be thrifty and innovative with kitchen waste but some leftover scraps or by-products are easier to creatively use than others. With beet greens leftover from baking this week's community supported share of Beet Bread (Sourdough pages 55-57), I reserved the leaves for testing a savory herb jam. In an attempt to use the stems that are so often discarded to the compost, I sauteed and dressed them with pomegranate molasses before assembling this rustic galette laced with zataar spice and lemon zest. A delicious beverage accompaniment was a buttery-rich cocktail using whey leftover from the lebany preparation in combination with apple cider and a splash of brandy. The meal tasted like what I imagine the vignette outside my window might if I could cut a slice of forest and put it on my plate.
BEET AND POMEGRANATE GALETTE
Yield: 2-4 servings
1 recipe Walnut Pate Brisee, omitting the rosemary (page 225 of Sourdough)
1 recipe Garlic Lebany (page 225 of Sourdough)
(note: you may use any herbs here but I love either dill, cilantro, fresh mint, or parsley in combination with the beets)
1 large bunch (150 g) beet stems, trimmed of leaves
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon zataar spice
sea salt, pomegranate arils, and fresh herbs for garnish
Prepare the crust and lebany as directed in Sourdough on page 225.
Trim the beet stems between 5-8" and toss with the olive oil and salt in a large skillet. Sautee on medium-low until tender to a fork, about 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the pomegranate molasses and lemon zest.
Assemble the Galette:
Preheat your oven to 400F. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to soften at room temperature, about 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rough circle using a rolling pin until it is about 1/8-1/4" thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread the lebany to within 1-2" of the crust edge. Arrange the sauteed beet stems on top of the lebany and sprinkle with the zataar spice. Working in a clockwise direction, fold over the crust edges toward the center, overlapping at about 4" intervals and leaving about 6-7" uncovered in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and cream and brush the crust.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The galette will be done when the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Garnish with flaked sea salt, pomegranate arils, and fresh herbs. Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of Brandied Whey Cider.
BRANDIED WHEY CIDER
Yield: 2 cocktails
This may sound like an unusual combination but using whey as an ingredient in this cocktail is an attempt at maximizing the nutritious and microbially beneficial by-product of yogurt or lebany preparation. If using the leftover whey from making the galette above, you will likely need to supplement with additional whey (depending on the consistency of the yogurt before straining) to prepare two cocktails. The result is a beverage with a silky and buttery rich mouthfeel and is excellent shaken or stirred and served over ice.
8.25 oz. (about 1 cup) yogurt whey
8 oz. (1 cup) spiced apple cider
4 oz. (1/2 cup) brandy (I used Copper and Kings American Brandy)
apple slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish
In a small pitcher, stir together the whey, apple cider, and brandy. Pour over ice and garnish with apples and cinnamon sticks.