The holidays may be smaller this year, but it is the perfect opportunity to play with recipes you wouldn’t usually make for your picky Aunt Susan who says that she will “die without cheese” and thinks that fake meat is full of “chemicals.”*
And, with that being said, we are back to an old polarizing favorite of mine: BEETS.
Many love to hate beets, but as we all know, beets have been proven to cure the whumbly grumblies, the timbly tumblies, and the scrumbly lumblies, among a host of other conditions.**
And, despite their many detractors, they have a lovely sweet, earthy flavor.
So, let’s caramelize them in balsamic vinegar and fold them into a pastry!
This savory beet galette is a great side dish for a small holiday gathering. And, believe it or not, it’s quite easy and only requires a few ingredients. Galettes are like pies except they look even prettier the messier they are! You simply roll out the crust on a flat surface, put the fillings into the center of the crust, and fold in the edges. No need to make perfect edges or braid an elegant lattice crust.
With the simple flavors of balsamic vinegar and thyme, the beets really shine in this one! Plus, the crust is made with olive oil, so no need to search for vegan butter.
All I know is that Aunt Susan (who, may I add, is constantly suffering from the timbly tumblies) is missing out on this one.
Makes 6 servings
Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, Active Time: 20 minutes
Olive Oil Crust
1/3 cups olive oil, cold
3 tablespoons ice water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour***
Cornmeal, for dusting
1 medium/large beet, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh thyme, for garnish
- First start making the crust. In a small bowl mix the cold olive oil (I recommend putting the olive oil in the fridge the night before) and ice water. Do not mix.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not over mix.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in the fridge for at least one hour.
- While you are waiting, peel and slice the beet if you haven’t already done so. Place the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and add the beet slices. Mix so that the seasoning is coating each slice of beet.
- When the dough is ready, take it out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. I recommend placing the dough in between two pieces of wax or parchment paper and rolling it out. Alternatively, you can roll it out on a floured surface. The dough should be about 1/4 – 1/8 inch thick (you don’t want it too thin or it will fall apart) and should be roundish. Remember, the dough does not have to look pretty!
- Place your beets into the center of the dough. Do not pile the beets too high. Instead, create 2-3 layers of beet slices.
- Fold up the edges of the galette to form its crust. Again, it does not need to be perfect!
- Carefully place your galette (I recommend using a large spatula) onto a parchment lined baking tray (you can wipe down the parchment paper you used to roll out the crust and use that) or a preheated bread stone. If using a bread stone, dust it with cornmeal first.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes. Check every 20 minutes or so. If the beets look like they are drying up, add a splash more vinegar. Be careful: you do not want the mixture to be too wet either as it will make the crust too moist.
- The galette is done when the beets are tender and the crust is slightly browned. The olive oil crust can burn easily, so the do not wait for the crust to get too brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- This galette will last for 3 days wrapped in the fridge, but it tastes best right from the oven.
*Aunt Susan, if you are reading this, know that I will not stop mentioning you by name in my recipes, and thereby “putting you on blast” as the kids say, until you eat the vegan food I bring to family gatherings.
**These claims are not supported by anything whatsoever.
***You can sub spelt flour for all-purpose. I have not tried this recipe with gluten free or whole wheat flour. I imagine it would work, but you may have to change the liquid to flour ratio depending on the type of flour used.