BY SHALEEN DESTEFANO
We found this absolutely perfect galette at one of our favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen. This recipe is delicious and perfect for Spring brunch, or dinner when you add a salad on the side. Salting and draining sliced (or speared) asparagus softens it enough that it can finish cooking to a perfect crisp-tenderness in the oven without discoloring, being too mushy or woodsy. The decadent mixture of cheeses, lemon and garlic makes the best base bubbling up while binding the asparagus on top, and sharply flavoring everything. These taste great warm or at room temperature, and will keep in the fridge for up to a week. If you’re smart…you’ll make two. Enjoy it!
If you choose to use store-bought pie crust (which I totally would) then skip this section.
1 1/4 cups (165 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup (60 grams) plain yogurt or sour cream
3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) cold water
1 pound asparagus
1/2 cup (125 grams) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (45 grams) grated gruyere, or gouda cheese
1/4 cup (30 grams) grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
Red pepper flakes or freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg or egg yolk (optional, for shine)
Make the crust: Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle butter over dough and using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle sour cream and 3 tablespoons of water over the mixture and stir/mash it together to combine; it should form large clumps; add tablespoon of water if it does not. Use your hands to bring it together into a single mass. Transfer dough to a large square of parchment paper, patting it into a flatter packet, and wrap it tightly. Chilling it in the fridge until firm, 1 to 2 hours or up to 4 days. You can hasten the firming process along in the freezer, for about 20 minutes. (Or unfold the store-bought crust and move to the next step with your bad ass self.)
Make the filling: Hold the asparagus by the tough end (no need to snap it off) and cut the tips into 1-inch segments and the rest of the spears into very thin slices on a sharp angle. In a large bowl, toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and set aside for 30 minutes. You can also lay full spears on top of the galette depending on how you want it to look after baking.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta, gruyere, parmesan, garlic, a pinch of salt, and pepper to taste and set aside.
Drain asparagus in a colander and pat it dry on paper towels. Return it to the empty bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon zest, and pepper to taste. (No need to salt because it will be well-seasoned from the salting step.)
Assemble galette: Heat oven to 400°F. Unwrap firm crust dough and line a large baking sheet with the parchment paper that it was wrapped in. On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a large round-ish shape, about 14 inches across. Gently transfer it to the parchment paper in the pan. Spread ricotta mixture over center, leaving a 3-inch border bare. Spoon asparagus over ricotta layer. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.
For a darker, glossier crust, beat an egg or just a yolk with 1 teaspoon of water and brush it over the crust.
Bake galette: For 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is deeply golden. Serve warm, in wedges.