So what is a galette? "Galette" is a general term used in French to designate various types of flat, round or free form crusty pies or tarts.  It sounds more posh than "tart".  It's not formal looking like the classic precisely fluted French tart.  Galettes consist of a  layer of some sort of filling baked on top of a buttery, crisp crust.  Instead of the straight, rigid sides you get from a tart pan, the edges of a galette are just folded over onto the filling.

Galettes come in two varieties, sweet and savory.   The sweet ones are the most Apple Galettefamiliar to everyone as the 'free form' pies, like this one on the right.  The savory ones are the ones that interest me the most since they are wonderful ways to use up leftovers or just be creative on the spur of the moment when you are looking to make  a nice meal without a lot of fuss.

My pie dough recipe is perfect for galettes.  It is easy to work with and rolls out to any size you need without crumbling and breaking and is pliable enough to fold around the edges and hold the ingredients without leaking.

The main thing with galettes, especially savory ones, is the fillings usually have to be cooked before baking them in the crust, otherwise they won’t get done, won’t have enough flavor, or will leach water all over your perfect crust.  When you use greens in a galette you must make sure you've cooked or squeezed the water out so that your crust won't get soggy.

So... make a batch of my pie dough.   It makes 8 portions so you will have enough for 8 nice sized galettes or lots of little individual ones.   Of course you probably won't do 8 galletes at once and since the dough freezes beautifully  you can keep some in the freezer all the time to use whenever the hunger for something really good and savory comes over you.  You could do a savory galette for the entree and a fruit galette for dessert!!!

Here is one I made out of leftovers I had in my refrigerator.  It was one of the best I ever made and the ingredients were already on hand.

Leftovers Galette

In my refrigerator I had some leftover mashed potatoes, some leftover ham, and some leftover ricotta cheese.    I had on hand rainbow chard, Parmesan cheese, bacon bits and feta cheese.  Here's how I made a savory galette out of it.Leftovers Galette

Saute' in bacon fat: 

1/2 medium onion 

1 cup chopped leftover ham 

1 clove garlic 
cooked till onion is softened and garlic is just beginning to color, 
remove from skillet and set aside.

In same skillet saute' one bunch of chard (I had a bunch or rainbow, or mixed colors of 
chard) till tender and 
most of the moisture is used up.   The count in the bunch of chard was 10 
large leaves. Salt and pepper the chard as it sautees.  Leftovers Galette

Mixed the 
chard with the sauteed onions and ham mixture. Let cool while you do the rest.

In another bowl 

2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes with 
1 cup of the leftover ricotta cheese and 
about 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan (the bits I had leftover), a 
handful of real bacon bits, and some 
salt and pepper.

Roll out the pie crust to about 14-16 inches across, not too thin to be able to fold easily.  Roll it around your rolling pin and gently unroll it on your lightly greased baking sheet.  (or use parchment paper) I Leftovers Galetteused a big pizza pan.

Spread the potato mixture over the crust to within 2 inches of the 
Spread the chard, ham and onion mixture over the potatoes. 

Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the top.

Fold up the sides to make the galette.  It doesn't have to look perfect, remember galettes are rustic.

Baked at 400 for about 30 minutes.  Let cool for a bit to make it easier to cut.   It's delicious hot or cold and warmed up later.

Here are a bunch of savory gallete recipes for you to try.   I'll bet if you looked in your refrigerator right now you would see that you already have the makings for something yummy.  And remember, the best thing about a galette is that it is a RUSTIC tart.   That means it's very forgiving and it doesn't have to look like the pictures in the foody magazines.    Once you taste them you won't care if they are picture perfect or not.

Tomato, Basil and Cheese Galette

2 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shreddedTomato galette

2 ounces mozzarella (fresh is definitely best!), shredded

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves or more if you love basil,  cut or torn.

5 fairly large, firm but ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4"-thick slices.  Drain the tomato slices on paper towels after you slice them to remove most of he water so it won't make your crust soggy.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into an 14-inch circle if serving  that’s about 1/8 inch thick.  Be sure to lift and move the dough to make sure it's well floured on the bottom so that it doesn't stick.

Toss the cheese and basil together in a small bowl, then scatter them over the rolled-out dough, leaving a 2 – 3-inch border.  Place the tomatoes in concentric circles, one slice slightly overlapping the last, on top of the cheese.  Fold the uncovered border of dough up over the filling, allowing the dough to pleat as you lift it up and work your way around the galette.  

Bake the galette for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp and the cheese is bubbly.  Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the galette rest on the sheet for 10 minutes.  Slip a wide spatula or a small rimless baking sheet under the galette and slide it onto the cooling rack.  Serve warm or room temperature, garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Most galettes can be kept at room temperature for several hours, but it is best served the day it is made.

Mixed greens and Feta Galette

You can use any combination of sauteed greens–spinach, chard, kale, collards, beet greens, etc. If it’s spinach, really make sure you saute all the water out.  If you don’t use potatoes, you can use more greens or just have a flatter galette.  The main thing with galettes, especially savory ones, is the fillings usually have to be cooked before baking them in the crust, otherwise they won’t get done, won’t have enough flavor, or they will be too wet and make your crust soggy.Mixed Greens Galette

1 bunch mixed greens, (beet greens, spinach, chard etc., ) washed and finely chopped

1 bunch kale, washed and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

olive oil
salt and pepper

1 1/2 c. diced, roasted potatoes (dice raw potatoes, coat with a bit of olive and salt, and roast in the oven on parchment for 20-25 minutes, until tender and golden, but not mushy) or use leftover roasted potatoes from last night's dinner, great way to use up leftovers

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Pour a glug of olive oil into a big skillet and heat on medium.  Add greens (reserve a few ribbons of fresh greens for garnish) and garlic, and saute with salt and pepper until totally wilted down, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.  If greens are watery you may need to squeeze them a bit.   You don't want your galette to be mushy.

To assemble galette, line the dough with greens, then potatoes, then feta.  Fold edges over the filling, and bake for about 30 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.  Let cool a bit, then garnish with ribbons of fresh greens and little drizzle of olive oil.

Potato, Leek and Mushroom Galette

3 tablespoons of olive oil or morePotato Leek & Mushroom Galette

3 medium sized new potatoes (I used red skinned potatoes), peeled and cut into slices

1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary

1 cup of chopped leeks (works out to be about half a leek, some green and white pieces included)

2 cups of sliced  mushrooms

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

approximately 1/2 to 1 cup of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

For the filling, add your olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped rosemary to a frying pan on medium heat, then fry the potato slices for about 20 minutes or until the edges have started to brown.  The potatoes will fall apart slightly and that’s okay; try to scrape up the brown bits because they are very tasty!  When done, remove and set aside, reserving the remaining oil for frying the mushrooms and leeks.  Add them to the pan and saute for about 5-7 minutes or until soft.  Take off heat.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Arrange the potatoes on the raw crust overlapping in a circular design leaving about a 2.5 inch margins around the edges.  Put the mushroom/leek mixture on top, then add the crumbled Gorgonzola last.  Fold the edges of the tart up over the filling.  Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted and begun to brown on top.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a plate

Wild Mushroom Galette

1/4 ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, porcini or shiitakesWild Mushroom Galette

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup sliced green onions

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 lb. assorted fresh wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, porcini and shiitakes, brushed clean and large mushrooms thinly sliced

1/2 lb. fresh button mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced

5 oz.  good-quality blue cheese

2. Meanwhile, make the filling: Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add the boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes until softened. Drain the mushrooms and mince finely.

3. Preheat an oven to 400°F.

4. In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Increase the heat to high, add the fresh and re-hydrated mushrooms, and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid they released has completely evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

5. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper.   Crumble the blue cheese into a bowl, add the cooled mushrooms and stir well. Spread the mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the mushrooms and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

6. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Italian Sausage Galette

2 tablespoons olive oil, dividedItalian Sausage Galette

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from the casing

1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons sugar

6  oil packed sun-dried tomatoes,  patted dry and thinly sliced

1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella

1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary

1 egg, lightly beaten, and 1/2 teaspoon water for egg wash

To make the filling, warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sausage, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add sliced fennel and sugar, and continue sauteing until sausage is cooked through and vegetables are lightly browned, another 3-4 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat, and stir in smoked mozzarella and fresh herbs, until well combined.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer dough to a large parchment-lined baking sheet

Arrange filling on top of dough, leaving a 2-inch border all the way around. Fold the border over the filling, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.

Brush dough with egg wash. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the filing is crispy. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool the galette. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Galette

2 medium onions, choppedAsparagus & Goat Cheese Galaette

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 pound thin asparagus (about 15 spears, 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick), trimmed

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into thin slices

1/3 cup soft mild goat cheese (about 4 ounces) room temperature

In a skillet cook onions in oil and butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat 15 minutes, or until golden. Transfer onions to a bowl to cool.

Have ready a large bowl of ice and cold water. Cut asparagus crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces and cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water 3 to 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain asparagus in a colander and transfer to bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Lift asparagus out of water and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread onions evenly onto dough and top with prosciutto, asparagus, and goat cheese. Fold up the dough around he sides.  Bake galette on a baking sheet in middle of oven about 15 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned. Transfer galettes to a rack and cool. Serve, cut into wedges, at room temperature.

OK.....I think by now you have got the idea.   There are tons of combinations to try and all of them are really good.

For instance:

Cabbage, ham and mushrooms
Chicken and greens and Swiss
Leek and goat cheese
Potato, radicchio, tallegio
Zucchini, leek, ricotta
Fennel, roasted tomatoes, goat cheese

Go, create, cook, eat!!!