Until recently, I had never made a Julia Child recipe. Sure, Mastering the Art of French Cooking has been on my to-do list for awhile, but these days, if I remember to eat, my meal planning consists of, “hey +1? I’m exhausted and sitting next to the inevitable smelly person on MUNI for an hour really killed my desire to cook…you want to just heat up frozen Trader Joe’s Indian food?”
(By the way, their butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, and lamb vindaloo meals are not bad.)
Last week, though, a good friend gave me a beautiful copy of Baking with Julia. There’s a heavy emphasis on bread, which, on one hand, is great – who doesn’t love carbs? And on the other, I have had terrible, terrible luck with getting bread to rise properly. My loaf pan may as well be cut in half vertically, because that’s about as good as it gets.
But after making two simple, beautiful, devastatingly easy galettes adapted from this book’s tart dough recipe, I am ready to put my faith in Julia (whereever she may be). If anyone can teach me to make bread, she can.
Really, she had me at her butter manifesto, which goes along the lines of “nothing is superior to butter, so do not skimp, do not substitute. Embrace the butter, for on the third day, there was Butter, and it was Good.” Oh Julia, you speak my language.
In the meantime, allow me to introduce a delicious tomato and cheese galette:
Recipe after the jump. Coming soon: what I did with the other half of the dough.
So when Julia Child said, paraphrased, “this is good hot or cold, as picnic fare, or an appetizer with wine,” I can now believe her. I will now believe anything she said.
You start with making a cornmeal-enhanced tart dough, which makes enough dough for two galettes. I froze one half and used the other immediately. It makes it really easy to come up with a deceptively fancy weeknight dinner/cocktail party appetizer, and this is, frankly, the best savory crust I’ve ever tasted. It’s light, flaky, and flavorful from the cornmeal.
- 3 tbsp sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk
- 1/3 c ice water
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2-4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced into 1/4″ slices
- Pre-made pesto
- Shredded mozzarella (about a half cup to a cup)
- Parmesan (2-4 tablespoons, depending on taste)
- Crumbled feta cheese (for sprinkling on top)