Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mushroom Cabbage Galette

I have had Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cookbook on my shelves for a number of years but barely cooked anything from it. It's considered a bible for vegetarians, but somehow very little actually appealed to me. I already know about lentils and risottos, legumes and pastas, and the recipes seemed too basic. The one bread recipe I tried had very odd proportions so I had to make a lot of adjustments to get it to a kneadable state.

But I recently decided to make the effort to try more recipes from this book, no matter how simple sounding,  and I have now struck gold.

This is essentially a vegetable pie, but instead of the familiar quiche, it uses a combination of mushrooms, cabbage, and herbs that meld together really well. A hard-boiled egg adds some protein and texture, a bit of quark and vinegar some tang. It's a new favourite in my house, and it is actually very easy to make, especially if you have a dough or pastry already available.

Galettes are wonderfully flexible and especially well suited for those of use who cook meals for one or two because you can make them into individual portions. Or you could turn them into a turnover or calzone.

I made a yeast dough, but if you're short of time, use a commercial pizza crust, pie crust, or savory tart dough from the deep-freeze.

Mushroom Cabbage Galette

Serves 3-4. (I turned it into a 2-serving galette and a 1-serving calzone, but they were generously filled.)
Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

This is a double recipe.

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
.5 teaspoon sugar
.5 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
.5 teaspoon salt
1.25 cup flour
.5 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloved garlic, minced
250 grams mushrooms, sliced
500 grams Chinese cabbage, shredded
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon salt
50 ml water
80 ml quark (or yogurt)
80 ml chopped parsley
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oil or melted butter

Make the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast and let stand for 5-10 minutes until the yeast bubbles.
  2. Stir in the beaten egg, then the salt and flours. Mix at medium low speed for about 4 minutes. (If you don't have a mixer, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 4 minutes.)
  3. Lightly oil the dough in the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and let rise until doubled in bulk (50-60 minutes).

While the dough rises, prepare the filling:

  1. In large skillet or pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, mushrooms, and herbs and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the cabbage, salt, and water, then cover and cook slowly until the cabbage is tender, about 10  minutes, stirring occasionally and checking that there is enough liquid. Add a bit more if needed. (If you use a less tender cabbage, cook for 15-20 minutes). When the cabbage is done, uncover and raise the heat to evaporate any excess moisture so that the mixture is relatively dry. 
  4. Stir in the parsley, egg, and quark. Season with vinegar and taste for salt and pepper.

Pull it together:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Grease a baking sheet or cover it with silicone sheets or parchment paper.
  2. After the dough has risen, split the dough into 2 portions, using one portion now and freezing the other portion for future use. (Sprinkle it with flour, wrap it in plastic, and put it in the freezer. The next time you want to make a pizza or galette, let it thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours.)
  3. Roll the other portion out on a floured surface until it is quite thin. Or divide it into 3 or 4 pieces for individual servings. Place the rolled circle(s) on the baking sheet. If you're making one galette, the circle will be too large and hang over the edges.
  4. Spoon the filling into the middle of each dough circle, heaping it fairly high and leaving an edge that can be folded over. Fold the edge towards the center but leaving the middle open. For calzones, heap the filling on one half and fold the other half over, crimping the the edges to close. Cut one or two holes to let the steam out.
  5. Brush the edges with some olive oil or melted butter.
  6. Bake until browned, about 25 minutes.

Slide the galette onto a plate, and serve with whatever salad or vegetables appeal to you.
This recipe also freezes and reheats well.

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