So far this year I have been all about simplicity. Getting back to basics. Unloading baggage. Whatever you want to call it, it’s been freeing. Last weekend, I emptied two garbage bags of clothes out of my closet (some that I’d had since, gasp!, high school) leaving me with a sense or organization that I’m pretty sure I’ve never felt. After that came this desire to, gasp!, keep the apartment as clean as possible! If you are my parents and you are reading this right now, I hope you are sitting down.
I’ve been a bit of late-bloomer when it comes to housekeeping. I’ve been known to leave piles of stuff- just clutter- sitting around for weeks. I’ll admit it. Cleaning was one of my least favorite activities. What I realized while cleaning out my closet was that there was one central problem: I just had too many things. I tend to get emotionally attached to most things that I own. However, with each move over the past few years, I’ve been able to cut the cord. Packing is much easier when you have fewer things. Lesson learned! Just let it go!
My cooking has been significantly altered this year as well. I still love the same foods and crave the creative release of putting together a beautiful meal, but I realized the beauty doesn’t have to come from a million ingredients or “fancy” food. The humblest ingredients, often those left in the refrigerator as an after-thought to an insanely involved recipe, can be the building blocks of rustic, flavorful, honest food. This galette, for example, is made of carrots, an onion, and an apple that have been roasted with a light drizzle of olive oil until the flavor has intensified. The crust, enhanced with red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, comes together quickly while the vegetables slowly roast. And there is still time left to clean up the (small) pile of dishes from prep.
Perfect for a weeknight meal or an elegant dinner party. Simplicity. That’s what it’s all about.
*Check out RestaurantWare.com if you’d like catering supplies like these bamboo plates and flatware of your own!Enter coupon code “tokyoterrace” and receive 10% off! In this post, you see bamboo fork & knife and bamboo leaf plate.
Savory Vegetable Galette
2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 onion, 1/2 inch dice
1 apple (I used Fuji, but you could use any variety) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
*cutting the vegetables into smaller cubes greatly reduces time for roasting
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with tin foil to make clean-up easier. Spread the vegetables in an even layer in the pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize. While the vegetables are cooking, make the crust:
1 cup of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
5T unsalted butter, placed in the freezer for 30 minutes-1 hour
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, red pepper flakes, salt, and butter. If you froze the butter (which I highly recommend) use a medium-large sized cheese grater (not a microplane) to grate it into the mixing bowl. This will make it easier to work into the flour and keep the temperature cold. This is a trick of my mother’s that works beautifully! Using your fingers, combine the dry ingredients with the butter until the mixture resembles small crumbs. Using a teaspoon, slowly add the ice water 1 teaspoon at a time. Do this until the mixture holds together well and is not dry or crumbling. I usually have to use 2, maybe 3 teaspoons, but this can vary depending on climate, etc. Gently knead the dough until it comes together completely. Gather the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for half an hour and up to 2 hours.
- While the dough is chilling, remove the vegetables from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Set the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- When the dough has chilled long enough, turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough with a rolling pin or wine bottle in a large circle until it is about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Place the rolling pin in the center of the dough (like you are drawing a line in the center of the cirle). Gently fold the dough in half over the rolling pin, making a half circle with the pin in the center. Lift the rolling pin, supporting the dough with your other hand, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Open the dough and set the pin aside.
- Pile the vegetables in the center of the dough and spread evening, leaving about 2-3 inches of dough around the edges. Fold the dough around the vegetables and gently press folds together to seal (see photos to see what the folds should look like). Brush the dough with the egg white and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
- Bake the galette for about 20 minutes or until the crust in a golden brown around the edges. Serve with a green salad and a glass of bright Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir.