Monday, September 10, 2018

Fruit Sourdough

If I were lucky enough to be visiting Melbourne, Tivoli Road Bakery is exactly the kind of place I’d want to find while out for a stroll. Michael and Pippa James’ bakery was built on their relationships with farmers and suppliers while finding the best ingredients, and it was built on excellent baking, of course. The book The Tivoli Road Baker: Recipes and Notes from a Chef Who Chose Baking, of which I received a review copy, tells the whole story. Descriptions of ingredients and suppliers are interspersed throughout the pages of recipes making clear the bakery’s goal of using the best in terms of flavor, sustainability, and cultural identity. One story highlights work being done to learn how early indigenous Australians harvested grain and made bread, and another explains the methods of a biodynamic farm. I was sold on the philosophy and then became a bigger fan as I read about the types of sourdough bread they bake. There are complete instructions for creating and maintaining a sourdough starter and step-by-step guides for each stage of dough mixing, shaping, and baking. I was intrigued by the Olive Loaf made not just with a mix of green and black olives marinated with herbs but also with tapenade incorporated into the dough. The Wholegrain Rye and Buttermilk Loaf looks delicious on its own and as the base of an open-faced, cured salmon sandwich. In fact, there’s a chapter of Sandwiches for inspiration for all the breads and Salads to go with them. There are also chapters for Viennoiserie, Pastry, Seasonal treats, and British Bakes. After mastering the Croissant Pastry, there are several recipes for using it like the incredible Morning Buns with vanilla custard. Some other recipes that I’d love to try include the jam-filled Lamington Doughnuts, the gluten-free mini Pear Almond and Brown Butter Bundt Cakes, and the loaf-pan baked Pistachio Cake. While reading the book, I pulled my sourdough starter from the refrigerator to feed it and get it ready to go to work. I had to try the Fruit Sourdough first. It’s a bread loaf with almost as much jewel-toned dried fruits as bread in each slice. 

As always with sourdough, I had to get my starter back into shape first. I store it in the refrigerator and let it go dormant between baking projects. I feed it in incrementally bigger portions for three feedings one day before I intend to use it. For this bread, the dried fruit needed to be soaked overnight before beginning. Also, all of the sourdough breads in this book begin with a starter build that’s mixed four to six hours before being added to the dough. For the fruit, golden raisins, currants, black raisins, pitted and halved dates, stemmed and quartered figs, and some ground ginger were measured and placed in a bowl. In a saucepan, a cinnamon stick, a star anise, and some water were combined. Red wine was to be added, but I used white wine instead since that seemed less wintry. The mixture was brought to a boil and then left to steep off the heat for 10 minutes. After steeping, the mixture was strained over the dried fruit, and it was left to soak overnight. The starter build was made with sourdough starter, bread flour, whole wheat flour, and water. The dough was started with bread flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, and water and was left for the autolyse for about 30 minutes. Then, the starter build and salt were added, and the dough was mixed and left in a large bowl before the folds began. Before the first turn and fold in the bowl, the soaked fruit along with some chopped dried apricots were added. The fruit-filled dough was then turned and folded every 30 to 45 minutes a total of four times. Next, the dough was pre-shaped and left to rest for 20 minutes, and then it was shaped for the loaf pan. There are complete instructions for all of these steps in the book. I left the dough in the loaf pan in the refrigerator overnight before baking. And to bake, my preferred method for steam in the oven is to place some ice cubes in a cast iron skillet that sits on the oven floor for the first 15 minutes or so of the baking time. The loaf baked until golden and crusty on top. 

This was a somewhat wet and sticky dough that resulted in a tender crumb around all of that fruit. As noted in the book, all this bread needs for serving is a little butter. It was fruity and sweet with no added sugar, and it went perfectly with some afternoon tea. Melbourne is lucky to have this bakery that’s building strong ties in their food community, and I’m lucky to have their recipes.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Peanut Butter-Banana-Chocolate Yogurt Pops

It is August, so it’s no real surprise that it’s exceptionally hot outside. But maybe because we’d gotten lucky with comparatively milder summers for a few years, this summer has seemed really, really hot. In the middle of another triple-digit day, I have to wonder why I don’t own popsicle molds? I must have convinced myself that I wouldn’t use them very often, but right now they seem like an obvious necessity. I started pondering this kitchen tool question when I read about these yogurt pops in the July/August issue of Clean Eating magazine. They’re presented as one of three frozen breakfast pop options, and I was delighted with the ingredient list and its lack of refined sugar. They’re made with plain yogurt, natural peanut butter, cocoa powder, and a little maple syrup. I wanted to pull out the blender and get right to work. I had some paper cups that I could use to freeze the pops, and I just needed some popsicle sticks. And, that’s when I learned that I would have to go to a craft store to get popsicle sticks because the grocery stores where I looked didn’t have them. That should have been a sign that I need to just get popsicle molds. 

I pushed onward, found some sticks, readied the paper cups, and made the yogurt pops without molds. First, I toasted some unsalted organic peanuts and added salt. Next, a banana, some plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, natural peanut butter, and maple syrup were pureed in the blender. Some of the peanuts were added to the cups, and half of the mixture in the blender was poured over the peanuts in the cups. Back on the blender base, cocoa powder was added and mixed into the remaining yogurt mixture. The chocolate mixture was added to the cups, and more peanuts were sprinkled on top. Additional peanut butter is also suggested, but I skipped that and just added peanuts. I appreciated the simplicity of this recipe, but if you’d like a truly layered look it would require a little more time. To get layers, the first addition of yogurt mixture in the cups would need to be frozen until set before the chocolate mixture is added. Without that added step, you get a swirly result. Also, since I was new to popsicles, I didn’t realize the mixture needs to freeze and set a bit before you place a stick in the center of each cup, or the stick will just fall to the side. 

I feel like I learned some good lessons in the realm of popsicle science here. And, I got to enjoy some delicious frozen treats. The salty, crunchy peanuts were a delightful contrast to the ice-cold, creamy frozen yogurt, and I always love the mix of banana, chocolate, and peanut butter. What’s your opinion on whether popsicle molds are a kitchen necessity, and if you have some which kind do you recommend?

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Spicy Braised Eggplant with Everyday Okra

When I cooked these dishes a few weeks ago and posted a photo on Instagram, I mentioned that I love cooking from Madhur Jaffrey’s Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking with summer produce. There are so many great recipes that include eggplant, tomatoes, and okra that I’m still working through all the pages I’ve marked with little sticky flags. But, today I started wondering why I associate the book so much with summer produce. As I flipped through the pages again, I started getting excited for late fall and winter produce to make things like the Spicy Cauliflower Omelets and Vegetable Biryani with Cauliflower, Carrots, and Peas. I also usually enjoy comforting, slow-cooked dals more in cooler weather, and there are several good ones in the book. But for now, we have lots of local eggplant to eat. At Boggy Creak Farm, they’re growing a green variety this year called Daesene Green. They’re also growing lovely, green okra. In the book, the recipes are called Rice with Eggplant (Vangi Bhaat) and My Everyday Okra (Roz Ki Bhindi). I decided to serve the two together since I had brought home both of these stars of our local, summer vegetable options. 

First, the eggplant was cut into big chunks. I was tempted to make the pieces a little smaller, but I’m glad I followed the instructions. Given the length of time the eggplant cooks, the chunks become delightfully tender. Smaller pieces would have turned to mush. The big chunks were soaked in water while oil was heated in a large saute pan. A cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, and dried red chiles were added to the hot oil and stirred until the seeds began to pop. Onion was added next and fried for a minute. Next, the eggplant was drained and added to the pan with some salt. The eggplant was fried while stirring for about 10 minutes until well coated with the spices. Ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chile powder were added next and cooked for a couple of minutes. Then, lemon juice, tomato puree, and water were stirred into the mixture, and it was left to braise, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes. It was to be served over rice, and I used brown basmati. For the okra dish, the pods were cut into pieces and cooked in oil with minced onion. The heat was gradually decreased as the okra cooked. Ground coriander and cumin were added with chile powder, amchoor, and salt. Chopped tomatoes were added and left to cook for just a few minutes more. 

Meltingly tender is the perfect description of the eggplant in this dish. I would even call it buttery. It was addictively good. The dried chiles and chile powder gave it a nice level spiciness. Okra and tomatoes is common in the South, but this Indian version delivered a lot more flavor. These recipes made great use of summer vegetables, and now I can’t wait to revisit this book more often in cooler seasons.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Roast Butternut Squash Schnitzel with Squash Kraut

I started reading my review copy of Edward Lee’s Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine back in late May. One of my first thoughts about the book was that it reminded me a little of Anthony Bourdain’s style of explaining the uniqueness of a place through the food. For this book Edward Lee visited different cities around the US, but what the reader learns from him of those places is not the typical or expected or most common thing about each place. He set out to find stories of food made by immigrants and how those dishes have become American food. There may be interpretations of dishes from home countries or an evolution of dishes over time, but the priority here is to tell the story behind the food and appreciate it for what it has become. Each chapter ends with a recipe or two or three that are Lee’s take on a dish or dishes particular to a place. His story about Lowell, Massachusetts starts with the town’s tradition of boxing but leads to the Cambodian immigrants that now make up 40% of the local population. The recipes include Amok Trey which is a coconut curry with fish that’s cooked in a banana leaf and a Pork Lab with Fried Egg on Popcorn Bread to mimic hash on toast. It was interesting to learn of the Lebanese food traditions in Clarksdale, Mississippi where kibbeh is common and the Chinese buffet restaurant serves sushi and lo mein alongside fried chicken, lima beans, and cornbread. Patterson, New Jersey offered another intriguing story where you’ll find “the largest concentration of Peruvian restaurants in the country” due to immigrants from Peru who came to this city for factory jobs. Lee points out that “the food of immigrants is not authentic but frozen in time, reflecting the culinary moment when the immigrants left their home.” It’s also dependent on what ingredients can be found in the current location. Tastes and customs change dishes in home countries and abroad, and what results is no less traditional just different. The recipes for this chapter include Pollo a la Brasa which is a slow-smoked, marinated chicken and Green Fried Rice with Chicken, Cilantro, and Aji Sauce. The question of why German cuisine isn’t more championed was brought up in a chapter about Wisconsin in which Lee and his wife visited several German restaurants and food shops. It’s a good question. This is the one type of cuisine for which I can’t think of a well-known cookbook devoted to it. But, I was delighted to see a unique spin on schnitzel with the recipe for Roast Butternut Squash Schnitzel with Squash Kraut. And, now I need to explain a little about our local, Austin food scene. Our seasons don’t always align with those of other parts of the country. While some area farms continue to have butternut and other hard squashes through the fall, our urban farms tend to have them early in June. I learned that’s due to insects that attack the plants when they’re planted later in the summer. The plants do fine when planted early but won’t survive the summer bugs. So, I was able to get lovely, local butternut squash to make this dish well before fall. 

First, the butternut squash kraut was started since it needed a few days to naturally ferment. The squash was grated and combined with minced onion, garlic, salt, and caraway seeds. I was sure I had caraway seeds to use for this, but when I searched through my spices there were none to be found. Instead, I used nigella seeds which are also sometimes called black caraway so they’re not too weird of a choice. The squash and other ingredients were mixed by hand in a bowl and squeezed to get some juices extracting. The mixture with all the juices was then placed in a jar, water was added, and I weighted down the mixture with a smaller jar. It was left at room temperature for 48 hours and was then refrigerated for a few days. It can be kept for a month or so. For the schnitzel, butternut squash was peeled, seeded and roasted until somewhat tender. When cool, rounds were cut and pressed to flatten a little. Then, I made a little change to the recipe. Rather than breading the squash with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, I took a simpler route. I spread the tops with Dijon mustard and pressed on breadcrumbs. I do this often with fish for a simpler breading technique. Also, the recipe in the book includes a mustard-cream sauce which I skipped to make it a little lighter and because the mustard flavor was already present. The breaded squash slices were fried in olive oil until crispy and served topped with the squash kraut. 

In Texas, the most common evolution of schnitzel is chicken-fried steak which for the uninitiated is a pounded-thin slice of beef that’s breaded and fried and topped with cream gravy. Since I don’t eat red meat, I was thrilled to see this vegetarian schnitzel concept. Oddly, the process of slicing and flattening the squash pieces reminded me of making tostones. I love it when food traditions cross boundaries like that. So does Edward Lee, and he encourages readers to take these recipes and make them their own. There’s a lot to learn and experiment with here.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

Cooking vegetarian has always been easy for me. I eat some fish and fowl, but don’t really miss those flavors when meals are meatless. Dabbling in entirely plant-based cooking, however, sometimes feels like new and different territory. Arriving at creamy textures without cream or milk or butter, using substitutes for eggs, and giving dishes good savory, umami flavor without cheese has been a fun learning process. One of my favorite, recent, vegan experiments was revisiting the carrot dog fad as pigs in a blanket. So, I was delighted to practice more plant-based cooking with the new book The Wicked Healthy Cookbook: Free. From. Animals. Chad and Derek Sarno are self-proclaimed plant pushers. I like that, and I might be a bit of a plant pusher myself. They encourage readers to eat 80% healthy and 20% wicked, and they offer lots of big-flavor ways to achieve that with the recipes. The beginning of the book lays out good lists for kitchen equipment and pantry ingredients as well as tips for cooking success. There are also charts for healthy alternatives to sugar, salt, and extracted fats. The recipes take you from appetizers to bowls to comfort food, desserts, drinks, and more. The King Satay with Spicy Peanut-Ginger Sauce involves searing the king oyster mushroom stems before skewering them for the satay. The Cashew au Poivre Torte with Basil Parsley Pesto is a nut-based cultured cheese that’s topped with crushed pink peppercorns and a white balsamic reduction. There’s an introduction to sourdough starter, which I loved seeing, that’s followed by a recipe for sourdough pizza dough with a few topping suggestions. I was also intrigued by the pasta dough made with silken tofu rather than eggs. There’s a lot to enjoy here whether you’re in the mood for Kale and Avocado Salad with Wild Rice, Grapes, and Toasted Seeds or a Mac and Cheese (made with a plant-based sauce) Bar with several toppings. I was previously familiar with how meringue can be made with aquafaba or the liquid from a can of chickpeas. I haven’t tried it yet, but I want to. And, I had heard good things about using jackfruit to achieve a texture similar to shredded meat. After reading the pages about homemade tortillas and then seeing the Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos recipes, I knew where I wanted to start cooking from this book. 

Green, unripe jackfruit has a mild flavor. Here in Austin, it is available fresh and pre-cut into chunks. A whole jackfruit is large, and buying chunks is more convenient. But, the chunks I found would need to be peeled and seeded. It’s also available peeled and chopped in pouches in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. However, the pouches I found contained flavored jackfruit, and I wanted to flavor it myself. I opted for canned, peeled, and chopped jackfruit. It comes in a brine and needs to be rinsed and drained. Then, seeds were removed, and it was chopped a little smaller. The spice rub from the book included minced garlic, paprika, granulated onion powder, chipotle powder, ground coriander, and salt. The spice rub was added to the drained jackfruit and mixed by hand while breaking up the pieces a bit more. It was left to marinate in the refrigerator for an hour. Next, minced onion was sauteed in a Dutch oven, and the marinated jackfruit was added. Vegetable stock was added next with orange juice, lime juice, oregano, bay leaves, and chipotles in adobo. It was brought to a simmer and then left to cook over low heat for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, I made some fresh tortillas. I loved the idea of the cilantro tortillas in the book made with pureed cilantro leaves and jalapeno, and I added some arugula leaves as well. The puree went into the masa mixture, and tortillas were pressed and cooked on a griddle. The taco toppings included shredded cabbage, tomato, jalapeno, and fresh salsa. 

The jackfruit took on great flavor from the spice rub and cooking liquid mixture and was a good texture for a taco filling. I’m so glad to have gotten to know this ingredient. I don’t know yet what direction my plant-based cooking experiments will lead next, but the Cauliflower Mornay Sauce for pasta is a contender. This book will give me lots of ideas and inspiration.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Summer Corn Soup

There was a time when I lived to shop. Nothing was better than spending a day immersed in clothing, shoes, and accessories to try on, compare, and decide what to take home. At some point, I became much lazier about shopping. Now, I’d much rather open several tabs in a web browser to compare and decide and order online. But, one thing that would make me want to shop in person is the prospect of a great lunch or dinner as part of the outing. Have you ever dined in a department store or clothing store? I have a couple of times. In both cases, the restaurants gave a feeling of providing for your every need. You can shop awhile, take a break, have a snack or a meal, and everything you could want is right there. That sense of generous hospitality was evident in the new book The Freds at Barneys New York Cookbook by Mark Strausman of which I received a review copy. The book is full of crowd-pleasing dishes from Freds, the restaurant inside Barneys, that can now be found in the Madison Avenue, Chicago, Beverly Hills, and Downtown New York stores. In creating Freds, the goal was to give visitors the feeling of being “in the midst of the bustle of life” and in the “warm, inviting center of that particular universe.” The food is intentionally uncomplicated and comforting with salads, sandwiches, and soups that happen to be fashionably presented to suit the surroundings. There are also Italian classics, brunch dishes, dinner entrees, and desserts. Everything is carefully prepared despite the volume of food that’s served each day in these restaurants. And, all of the recipes from the Belgian fries to the stocks and sauces are included here. I think I would have a hard choosing from the menu. From the salads alone, I would be hard-pressed to choose among The Palace Warm Lobster Salad with Freds Bistro Dressing, the Beverly Hills Asian Chicken Salad, and the Vegan Salad with Salsa Verde Vinaigrette. Then, with multiple variations on club sandwiches and the turkey sandwich topped with Russian dressing and slaw on an onion roll, I couldn’t decide. Or, should I order the crab cakes, Grilled Hen of the Woods Mushrooms in a Balsamic Glaze with Arugula and Shave Parmesan, or the Upper East Side Filet of Sole with Sauteed Carrots? The same issue would happen with the soups. There’s New Jersey Summer Heirloom Tomato Soup, Lobster Bisque with Saffron Aioli, and Freds Gazpacho. I had some fresh corn from my CSA, and that made my decision for what to cook first from the book much easier than ordering from the menu would be. Summer corn soup with local corn, potatoes, and onion was a great choice. 

You could keep this soup completely vegan by using vegetable stock and olive oil and skipping the butter and cream. I did use homemade vegetable stock and olive oil, and shucked corn on the cob was cooked in it until tender. The corn was removed and left to cool, and chopped potatoes, onions, and celery were added to the stock. The corn kernels were cut from the cobs, and the cobs went into the stock to add more corn flavor while the other vegetables simmered. After about 35 minutes, the corn cobs were removed, and the corn kernels were added to the soup. The soup was then blended in batches to make a smooth puree. The puree was returned to the stockpot, and here cream or milk or almond milk can be added. I had some creme fraiche on hand and used that. The pureed soup was heated through with the creme fraiche mixed in, and salt and pepper were added to taste. 

In the Soups chapter, there’s a mention of garnishes and how they add an important “little something” with flavor and texture. I went a little crazy with the garnish here and used some roasted cubes of pattypan squash, chopped fresh tomato, a few corn kernels I set aside, and ribbons of fresh basil. If possible, the garnishes made the soup even more summery. The corn flavor was like a bowl of sunshine as it was. Now, when I shop in a web browser, I can whip up something from this book and still enjoy the mix of shopping and great food. 

Summer Corn Soup 
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from The Freds at Barneys New York Cookbook

This creamy soup is a recent and very popular addition to the Freds menu. It can easily be adapted to be vegan without losing the creaminess that makes it so satisfying. Chef’s tip: Freeze some of the water when you cook corn and use it in the stock for this soup. 

Serves 4 

2 quarts Vegetable Stock or Chicken Stock 
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (can substitute olive oil) 
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt 
6 ears fresh summer corn, husked and cut in half 
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced 
2 yellow onions, diced 
2 stalks celery, diced 
1 large leek, white part only, trimmed, well-washed, and diced 
1⁄2 cup heavy cream or 1 cup whole milk (can substitute 1 cup almond milk) 
Freshly ground black pepper 

Place the stock, butter, and salt in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Add the corn and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the corn from the stock, set aside to cool, then use a sharp knife to shave the kernels off the cobs. Set the kernels aside, but do not discard the cobs. Return the pot with the broth to medium-high heat. 

Add the corn cobs, potatoes, onions, celery, leek, and cream. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently until the potatoes are soft, 35 to 45 minutes. Fish out the cobs and discard. Add the corn kernels to the soup. Using a food processor, blender, or immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. (Depending on the size of your machine, you may need to do this in several batches.) Be especially careful as you do this because the soup is very hot. 

If the soup is too thick, add additional stock and heat thoroughly. Adjust seasoning and serve.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Potato Galette with Mexican Mint Marigold

Back in 1994, our very own Central Market grocery store opened in Austin, and it immediately became the place where I do a big part of my grocery shopping. In 1994, I was a graduate student, and my shopping list included more frozen food and quick-to-cook things than it does now. But, I remember walking into this brand-new store with the produce section that meanders on and on and discovering starfruit and taking it home to taste it for the first time. There was so much to explore and taste, and my grocery store expectations have never been the same since. I thought about that as I read my review copy of The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by the Extraordinary Produce of California's Most Iconic Market by Laura McLively. The Berkeley Bowl, in Berkeley California, began as a small, family-run produce shop that has evolved into “one of the nation’s most renowned retailers of exotic fruits and vegetables.” All of the produce continues to be selected by the original owner, Glenn Yasuda, who visits sellers and farmers personally to choose what to order for the store. The new book is a tribute to the variety of foods found there and a guide for using lots of the interesting and seasonal produce throughout the year. The recipes aren’t always traditional to the ingredients being highlighted. For instance, Asian greens may be given a Spanish flavor profile or purple cauliflower may find its way into tacos. But, the dishes are all intriguing. The chapters are grouped by type of produce such as Leaves, Spores and Succulents, and Roots and Tubers. The Spring Chickpea Tabbouleh made with raw chickpeas straight from the pod makes me want to grow my own. And, I want to track down some banana blossoms so I can try the Banana Blossom with Glass Noodles and Crispy Garlic that’s served in the sturdy, outer petals of the blossom. I have some locally-grown, purple snake beans that I’m going to use in a Thai curry tonight, but I can’t wait to bring home more of them to use in the Smokey Snake Beans involving tomatoes and a homemade bbq-style sauce with a recommended side of cornbread. I’ve also marked the pages for Sea Bean and Soba Salad, Aloe Vera and Mango Ceviche in which the texture of the aloe mimics that of fish, and Golden Beet Tamales with Red Pepper Sauce. These days I do still bring a lot home from Central Market, but I try to gather most of the produce I use from local farms. In the spring, potatoes and shallots appear, and I had to try the Potato Galette with Tarragon made with a layer of sauteed shallots. In the book, the galette is made with lovely purple potatoes, and I have found locally-grown purple potatoes here in the past. This time, I went with the red potatoes and shallots on offer at Boggy Creek Farm, and I used my home-grown Mexican mint marigold that has a flavor very similar to tarragon. 

The recipe suggested any homemade or store-bought pie dough, and I did a little searching through my books for a good olive oil dough. I decided to try the whole wheat, tahini, and olive oil dough found in A New Way to Bake: Classic Recipes Updated with Better-for-You Ingredients from the Modern Pantry. Olive oil doughs are so easy to make, and this one was very easy to roll out and shape for the galette. For the filling, shallots were thinly sliced and sauteed in olive oil until caramelized. Chopped tarragon, or Mexican mint marigold in my case, was added. I also added some chopped sage from my herb garden. The dough was rolled into a 13-inch circle, and the shallots were spread in the center. Potatoes were thinly sliced on a mandoline and placed on top of the shallots, overlapping slightly. The potatoes were brushed with some olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and topped with more herbs. The dough was folded over the edges and brushed with an egg wash. The galette baked for about 30 minutes. I crisped some sage leaves in olive oil to add on top of the baked galette. Sour cream is suggested for serving, but I loved the galette just as it was. 

This is a great make-ahead dish since the galette can sit at room temperature and holds up perfectly. You could serve thin slices with cocktails or larger slices as a meal with a salad. It’s the kind of simple dish that really puts the freshness of the ingredients into the spotlight. This book is going to come in handy for cooking with what’s locally grown and some store-bought, new-to-me produce. 

Purple Potato Galette with Tarragon 
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by the Extraordinary Produce of California's Most Iconic Market. 

Fanned out across a flaky pastry smeared with caramelized shallots, this deep royal purple potato is a showstopper. A sprinkling of fresh tarragon and a dollop of sour cream balance the galette’s richness. Serve for brunch or lunch alongside lightly dressed mixed greens. 

Serves 6 to 8 

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil 
4 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced 
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
10 ounces purple potatoes (about 4), unpeeled 
1 9-inch pie dough (homemade or store-bought) 
1 egg, beaten 
Sour cream for serving 

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over low-medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté on low for 20 minutes, or until the shallots are soft and caramelized. Turn off the heat and stir in half of the tarragon, half of the salt, and some pepper. Set aside to cool slightly. Use a mandoline or a sharp knife to cut the potatoes into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use a rolling pin to roll the pie crust thinner and into a 13-inch circle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the crust on it. Spread the shallots over the pie crust, leaving a border around the edge (about 1 1/2 inches). Starting from the outer edge of the shallots, place the potato slices on top the shallots in overlapping layers, spiraling inward. Use a pastry brush to brush the potatoes with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle the remaining salt. Fold the border of the dough up and over the potatoes, pressing down in loose pleats. 

Brush the exposed dough with the beaten egg and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the crust is golden and the potatoes are tender. Sprinkle the remaining tarragon over the galette and serve with dollops of cold sour cream.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. 
Blogging tips