Piece of life
Do you know batch cooking ? It’s the principle of preparing all the meals of the week in a single cooking session. Honestly it’s not really my thing, I love to cook and I don’t mind doing it every day. Chain-work actually takes out the fun out of cooking. But sometimes I don’t have a choice… My professional schedule doesn’t necessarily allow me to organize myself differently. And so today it’s batch cooking. On the menu : several vegetables, lentils/carrots, meatballs kefta style, fish, one pan squash/carrots and scalloped potatoes. I have also a brioche rising, I have to make bread and think about snacks for my little girl [which supplies are already down]. So I’m going to do the preparations one after the other, and even at the same time. I choose dishes to cook on the burners and the other part in the oven, so I optimize my time. And what if I could find the time to write you a recipe… Superwoman I am, aren’t I ?
About the beets galette
Do you remember that great cookbook, Falastin from Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, I was telling you about a few weeks ago ? Well this is where I found that recipe. And what a wonderful recipe it is !
My hubby loves beets [me too] and that recipe immediately appealed to us, and indeed it’s really good : a little sweet/salty taste, a greedy puff pastry, and a touch of spice that makes you travel. I am sometimes criticized because of my love of vegetables [unfortunately], but frankly, when you eat this pie, you have to admit that vegetables are wonderful and that you don’t always need meat to get taste. So luckily there are great chefs who love vegetables and know how to cook them to give us great recipes like this one.
The recipe is overall simple : a fast puff pastry, a ricotta filling, a layer of onions and beets [red and golden for the visual if you can find some, but only red ones otherwise]. So it’s easy, yes, but as there are several preparations it takes a little time. But there are ways to shorten the process a bit and many of the preparations can be done in advance [the dough up to 2-3 days before, beets and onions too].
Some tips to go faster:
1/ the dough : it is prepared following a “quick” puff pastry recipe, so it is actually fast to prepare, but you could buy one if you want to skip that part.
2/ beets : the chef uses raw beets [which must therefore be cooked]. For those in a hurry, you could use already cooked beets [easy to find in any grocery store]. They are originally cooked in the oven, which necessarily takes time [at least 1 hour depending on the size of the beets]. Personally I bake them in the Instant Pot [it takes about 20 minutes for medium sized beets]. Pressure cooker will do fine too.
3/ you can prepare your pie in advance, once assembled it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours before cooking [yeaaaah]. Once baked it is obviously better fresh [but we saved some for the next day, and reheated a bit in the oven it was still delicious].
4/ Anticipate ! Cook the different elements over several days if it is easier for you.
Beets and feta galette with za’atar and honey
For the puff pastry (or buy one)
- 80 g flour
- 35 g whole wheat flour
- 115 g unsalted butter, cold cut in dice
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oregano (I used dried)
- 1,5 tsp fresh thyme finely chopped
- 60 ml cold water
For the topping
- 300 g beets (red and golden, or red only) (3 or 4 according to their sizes)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion coupé en fines lamelles
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp zaatar
- 5 g parsley haché finement
- 5 g oregano (I used dried)
- 60 g ricotta
- 2 cloves of garlic pressed
- 90 g feta in small dices
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (for topping)
- salt & pepper according your taste
For the beets (or use already cooked beets)
- Original recipe : preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), wrap each beet in aluminum foil and cook until tender (this will depend on the size of the beets, count at least 1 hour ).
- What I did : cook the beets in the instant pot or in a pressure cooker for about 20 min (again this will depend on the size of the beets).
- Once cooked, peel the beets. Be careful, it stains a lot !
- Cut them into thin slices of about 1 cm (2 to 3 cm in the recipe, but I found it a little too thick). Put the beets in 1 bowl (2 different bowls if you have red and golden, just to preserve the color of the golden beets). Pour a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the puff pastry (or buy one)
- In a bowl, mix the flours, sugar, salt and herbs.
- Add the cold butter and incorporate it with your fingertips. The dough MUST NOT be homogeneous, you must have pieces of unincorporated butter (that what will allow the pastry to puff).
- Add the water and mix to get a dough.
- On a well floured surface (it will stick a lot) roll out the dough with a pastry roll to form a rectangle.
- It is now necessary to proceed to the turns. Generally I do 3 to 4 turns for my puff pastry pies. For that I do a single turn, then a double turn and sometimes a last single turn. Once the rounds are finished, protect the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
For the onion filling
- In a pan, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion slices and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the sugar and vinegar, salt, and cook until the vinegar has evaporated (1 to 2 min). Let cool then add 1 teaspoon of zaatar and the herbs (parsley and oregano). Set aside.
For the ricotta
- In a bowl, mix the ricotta and the pressed garlic. Add salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
To finalize the galette
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle of about 0.3-0.4 cm thick (it doesn't matter if the shape is rough, it's a rustic galette). Place it on a oven dish (on parchment paper or a silicone mat).
- Spread the ricotta over the dough (leaving a border of about 1 to 2 cm). Spread the onions and half of the feta cheese on top. Then place the beet slices, overlapping them a little (leave a slightly larger border, about 4 cm, so that the dough can be folded over). If you have 2 colors of beet, alternate them for a nice visual (be careful with your hands! Clean them between the red and golden beets not to alter the color of the golden ones). Place the rest of the feta cheese on the beets.
- Fold the edges of the dough all the way around, if necessary make small incisions in the dough to make it easier. At this stage, place the pie in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F)
- Brush the edges of the dough with the lightly beaten egg. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the dough is golden brown.
- When the galette is cooked, pour the honey (or maple syrup), the oil and the rest of the zaatar over it. Let cool, sprinkle the thyme leaves and serve.