Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tomato galette with spelt pastry

This summer has been eventful to say the least. Many things happened, some of them happy and thrilling, some of them sad, most of them unexpected.

That’s how it is right? Life. With all its ups and downs, the mysterious ways in which things turn out well or bad sometimes. It’s the eternal struggle of keeping a balance between what’s important and what is trivial without getting overwhelmed with what’s going on around you or inside your head.

My head is full of ideas lately about different things I would like to do in the future and some of those things involve food. And talking about food,—this is why you came here for isn’t it?—let’s talk about this galette.

But first, let’s talk tomatoes. I don’t know what happened this year but the tomatoes have been incredible. Their flavor is fantastic, they’re so juicy and aromatic, I can’t stop eating them. Who cares if it’s September, and autumn is here, and blah blah blah. As long as I have tomatoes, it is still summer as far as I’m concerned. Besides, it’s been so hot these past few days in the Netherlands, it really is still summer.

This tomato galette is simply amazing. Not only because tomatoes are involved, not only because a dreamy sun-dried tomato paste is involved, but also because a spelt pastry is involved.

This pastry is a revelation. It’s so crumbly, tender and ever-so-slightly crispy in all the right ways on the edges, and the flavor is slightly nutty, earthy and buttery yet very light.

The filling is scrumptious as well. On the base of the galette, I added a paste made with dried cherry tomatoes from Santorini with a hint of fresh chilli and garlic that had a sweet and at the same time acidic flavor, I then sprinkled with some Greek dried oregano and laid thinly sliced fresh tomatoes on top. They were juicy, but not so that they made the pastry soggy, and deeply satisfying along with the woody flavor of fresh thyme that I added on top.

I paired the galette with burrata which if you don’t know yet, please go to your cheese shop or delicatessen and ask for it. Burrata (which means buttery in Italian) is a fresh Italian cheese made from an outer layer of mozzarella that is filled with cream and mozzarella curds that ooze out when you tear it open. It is one of the most spectacular cheeses I have ever eaten particularly because of its super rich, creamy and chewy texture, and its milky, slightly sour and sweet, buttery flavor that is, however, not at all overwhelming.

No matter which cheese you choose to pair it with, please make this galette. You won’t regret it.

Tomato galette with spelt pastry

A galette is a free-form tart that you don’t need to fuss too much over. You just fold the rolled-out pastry over the filling and you bake.

If you can’t find burrata, serve the galette with fresh buffalo mozzarella, a rich creamy ricotta, Greek manouri, or soft Greek feta.

To make the paste, I used sun-dried cherry tomatoes from Santorini that are not kept in olive oil. If you can only find sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, then omit the olive oil in the paste recipe, or add enough to achieve the desired texture of the paste.
You will have more than enough paste for the galette. Use the remaining paste to toss it with pasta and some parmesan, or smear it on top of some fatty pork chops and roast them in the oven.

Yield: 6 pieces


for the pastry dough
250 g white spelt flour (not wholemeal)
140 g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
Pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
1-2 Tbsp cold water

for the sun-dried tomato paste
15 sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil / if you use tomatoes in oil see notes above)
2 garlic cloves
1 fresh red chilli, sliced
½ tsp demerara or other raw cane sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil

for the filling
2 fresh tomatoes, cut into 2mm slices
¼ tsp dried oregano
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
Olive oil for drizzling

1 egg, beaten with a fork, for glazing the dough

Burrata, to serve

Special equipment: large food processor, plastic wrap, rolling pin, baking paper, rimmed baking sheet, small food processor, pastry brush


for the pastry dough
• with a food processor
In a large food processor, add the flour, cold cubed butter and salt and process for a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add the egg yolk and 1-2 Tbsp cold water and process in order to bring together the mixture into a dough that holds together in large chunks. Don’t over mix. Add 1 Tbsp of water to start, and see from there whether it needs more. You don’t want the dough to be wet.

• by hand
In a large bowl, add the flour, cold cubed butter and salt and, using two knives, a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut it into the flour, until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add the egg yolk and 1-2 Tbsp cold water and mix with your hands, working quickly, until the dough holds together in large chunks. Add 1 Tbsp of water to start, and see from there whether it needs more. You don’t want the dough to be wet.

Empty the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, form a disk, cover it and place it in the refrigerator to chill, for 1½ hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap and discard the plastic wrap and place dough between two large sheets of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into an approximately 30cm round, with a 5mm thickness. The dough should be somewhat pliable yet it will be a little stiff. If it tends to break apart when you roll it out, let it warm a bit before you try again. Place the rolled out dough, along with the baking papers, onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

for the sun-dried tomato paste
In the meantime, prepare the sun-dried tomato paste.
In a small food processor, add all the ingredients for the paste and whizz until you have a slightly chunky paste. It shouldn’t be smooth. Again, allow me to mention that if you are using sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, you will probably not need to add extra olive oil.

Preheat your oven to 180°C / 360F.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator, remove the top baking paper and smear evenly enough paste to cover the center of the round piece of dough, leaving a space around the edges of the pastry, about 5cm. See photo for reference. Sprinkle with the dried oregano, arrange the fresh tomato slices on top, making sure to cover the tomato paste, add a couple sprigs of thyme and drizzle a little olive oil over the tomato slices.
Fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling, making sure to seal any cracks. You can use the baking paper to pull and fold the dough over the filing.
Using a pastry brush, glaze the dough with the beaten egg.

Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for about 35 minutes until the pastry takes on a golden-brown color.
Take the galette out of the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes and drizzle the filling with a little olive oil.

Serve with burrata sprinkled with some black pepper and drizzled with olive oil.

You can keep the galette for a day or two, covered, at room temperature but it is best eaten the same day.


  1. I have never worked with spelt flour - I have to look for some to try your pastry dough recipe. This looks fantastic, Magda - and the tomatoes here have been great, too. Looks like the perfect dinner. Oh, and I have burrata every time I can - last night, in fact, for a happy hour with friends. xo, David

    1. Spelt flour is fantastic. I love it! You must give it a try David!

  2. I'm loving the photos of this galette! And I agree about the tomatoes - this year has been magical! 2nd-ing David - I order burrata whenever I see it!

    1. Burrata is a magical cheese isn't it? I love the creaminess and lovely flavor.

  3. So beautiful, I had to make it right away! But the 250 grams of flour must not have converted correctly for me. The conversion said that would be 2.5 cups. The dough is so hard and dry I can't work with it at all : (. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Anette. I'm sorry to hear your dough was not as it should be. I always weigh flour so I have no idea if your measurements were correct. 2.5 cups sounds a lot though! My only suggestion is to weigh the flour and also, add a little more water if the dough looks dry. Also, did you use white spelt flour and not wholemeal? It makes a difference.

  4. Beautiful photos Magda! I really want to try this, as I have been looking to make something savoury with tomatoes. Hope all is OK your end. <3 (That was a heart!)

  5. Tomatoes have been fantastic here on the West coast as well, will be making this. Pinned!

  6. Magda, your galette looks amazing! Even though it's September, I'm loving tomatoes too and I want to eat as many as I can before the season ends in the coming weeks!
    I hope this next year is better for you. Hang in there.

  7. Along with a nice green salad would also be nice... Here in Porto we still have loads of juicy and meaty and flavourfull tomatoes, so I might give it a go at this galette. And the burrata, of course. We don't have many delicatessen shops that sell foreign cheeses, but I'm try a gourmet shop from a supermarket, where I can always find that kind of items :)

  8. Stunning tart! Can't wait to give it a try. Hope you're doing well too!

  9. This is absolutely beautiful. I have never cooked much with spelt flour, but have used many other newer, glutin free types of flours on the market and am looking forward to trying this crust. It looks melt in your mouth good. Thank you.

  10. Fabulous photos! I too have been in love with tomatoes this year (organic heirlooms were on sale for the entire month of August at my favorite market) and I definitely indulged in some burrata to go with it because tomatoes and burrata are clearly best friends.

    I also have never worked with spelt flour, but this makes me want to try it.