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Sweet Potato and Chard Galette with Ossau-Iraty Cheese

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If you’ve never had a galette, you need to get this in your repertoire. It is seriously a great thing to have in your pull-it-out-of-your-@ss arsenal for things to make on the fly. All you need is a good, reliable pate brisee (simple pie crust) recipe and some sweet or savory ingredients to fill it. The galette is so versatile, it can go either way- sweet or savory.

I also discovered it can be a nice addition to your brunch table. Virtually fuss free, if you can make the pate brisee dough in advance, even freeze it you’re half way there. All you have to do it decide on your filling, saute it up and top with cheese…or not. I used sweet potato and a green olive swiss chard filling. The cheese I used is French, made from sheep’s milk from the Basque country. It was a nice choice with enough buttery flavor to compliment the salty olives and capers in the chard mixture.

Easy. It’s rustic so perfection doesn’t really matter and a little lopsided or uneven and it’s got character. Done and done.

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Sweet Potatoes:

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4″ rounds.

Steam the sweet potato rounds until just cooked, not too mushy. They should be able to keep their shape. Set aside until you are ready to assemble the galette. *Potatoes can be cooked the night before.

Swiss Chard Mixture:

1 bunch swiss chard, stemmed and rough chopped

2 T butter

1 T olive oil

1 garlic clove

1/2 tsp capers, chopped

1/4 cup green olives, sliced

1/2 cup ossau-iraty cheese, grated

Parboil the chard until just wilted. This should take no more than 2 minutes. Drain, let cool and squeeze out excess liquid. Roll into a paper towel and let sit.

In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter and olive oil over medium flame. When pan is hot, saute chard with garlic (do not let garlic brown) and add the capers and olives. Remove from heat and let cool.

Pate Brisee

from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

1/2 cup ice water

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

12 T (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into small cubes

2 T heavy cream or 1 small egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the flour, salt  and butter into a bowl. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the flour leaving some large, irregular pieces. Using a fork, mix the flour and butter mixture while slowly pouring in the ice water until the dough begins to form clumps. Add more ice water if needed to brink the mixture into a cohesive mass. Gently pour out onto a work surface, need lightly until there are no dry patches and separate the dough into two. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least an hour.

Remove one of the disks of dough (save the other for something else) and dust your work surface with  flour. Make sure to smooth out any cracked edges in your disk of dough. Proceed to roll out in a circle until approximately 1/8″ thick. If dough cracks or you get some holes, just pinch off excess dough and patch up the cracks. This dough is very forgiving, but you will need to work quickly so the butter does not warm up.

When you have your round shape, transfer dough to a parchment lined sheetpan. Layer on the sweet potato rounds first, leaving an inch border around the edge to fold over later. Top with chard mixture and finally, sprinkle with cheese.

Start folding the edges over one side at a time, each corner will slightly overlap the previous corner. Continue until all sides are folded over. The important thing here is not perfection, but a sealed edges so juices from the filling will not leak out.

Brush with cream or beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden.

Let rest for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Slice and serve warm.

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