When I was down in Baltimore a few weekends and ago, I did one of my favorite things – making an early morning trip to the farmer’s market with Matt and coming up with a menu for dinner for us on the spot. I hadn’t done so since June, and it was so much fun to be able to do so again.
I'm always surprised by the difference in season that 200 miles makes – the markets in NYC have just a few leftovers from summer – a few ears of corn, the last of the tomatoes – but at the Waverly Market, we found many varieties of cherry tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes, raspberries and blackberries, and lots of fresh corn.
I was particularly taken with the Black Pearl tomatoes I came across – they had a deep purplish-black color and were described as “the Johnny Depp of tomatoes” (whoever gives me the best explanation of that one wins a prize). I didn’t want to hide them in a salad or in a big heap of pasta, so I decided a galette was the best way to go.
I really love galettes – they taste just like pie but they’re way easier to make. For this galette, I wanted to highlight the tomatoes, so I set them on top of a flaky crust and accented them with caramelized shallots and thyme. It’s a very simple dish that makes the most of late-summer tomatoes.
Cherry Tomato and Caramelized Shallot Galette
makes 1 6-inch galette, serves 4 as a first course or 2 as a main course
For the crust
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup all purpose flour
Large pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 medium-sized shallots
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Make the crust
Cut the butter into small cubes. Put the butter in a small bowl and freeze for ~15 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and cut it into the flour mixture* until the butter is in small pieces. Don’t overwork the butter – you want some small pieces to remain. *Cut the butter into the flour using either a pastry blender or your fingertips. Work quickly if you use your hands – you don’t want to melt the butter. If you have warm hands, dip your fingers into ice water and dry them off every 30 seconds or so to keep your hands cold.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water into the butter-flour mixture and gently mix with a fork. Pick up a small amount of the mixture and press it into a ball. If it falls apart, add a teaspoon more of water and mix again. The mixture should hold its shape but should also be somewhat crumbly. Form a ball out of the mixture and place it onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the ball and wrap it well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Make the filling
Wash and dry the tomatoes. Cut any large tomatoes in half.
Add the oil to a large sauté pan set over medium heat. While the oil is heating, thinly slice the shallots. Add the shallots to the pan along with the salt and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are lightly golden, 7-8 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to cook until the shallots are a deep golden color, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the tomatoes, and stir well to combine.
Assemble the galette
Heat an oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set it aside.
Unwrap the dough but leave it on the plastic wrap. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough (this will help prevent both the dough from sticking to the counter and the rolling pin from sticking to the dough without the addition of extra flour). Roll the dough out into a large circle that is approximately 1/8” thick. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, then pick up the bottom layer (with the dough still on top) and flip the dough onto the baking sheet. Remove the remaining plastic wrap and discard.
Put the tomato mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 2” border all around. Fold the edges of the dough up and over onto the tomato mixture.
Bake the galette until the dough is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.