A delicious savory tart with a freeform crust, nestling roasted tomatoes and a quick savoury spread - choice of two! Don't be put off by the long instructions as it is relatively easy, but just needing a bit of time. A slow food recipe for lovers of deep umami flavours. Makes wonderful leftovers in a lunch box.
Toast the fennel seeds, if using, in a small pan until fragrant. Cool briefly then pound with a pestle and mortar or spice mill to a rough powder. It will smell amazing!
As you will see above, the dough ingredients should be cold. Just pop them in the fridge for 15 minutes and that should do. Now place the flours, butter, salt and fennel seeds in the food processor bowl and pulse until it is broken down into small "pebbles". It should not be over-processed to a smooth paste. Combine the ice water and vinegar in a small cup, and slowly add through the tube of your food processor while the processor is on. Keep the machine on just until the dough balls up to one side. A few stray bits may be in the bowl, but it should be a cohesive dough overall.
Pull the dough from the processor and shape into a fat, flattish disk or rough rectangle on a piece of parchment paper or cling film wrap. Pull up and tuck the edges to fully enclose; place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Or the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 160C fan/180C/350F. Make sure to have two racks to hold two trays of tomatoes.
Slice the tomatoes about 1/2 inch thick and lay on a couple of layers of paper towel, or on a double layer of tea towels. Cover with more towelling and press lightly. This will remove some of the liquid and speed up the roasting. You can skip this bit and leave the tomatoes to roast for an hour instead. I've not noticed a flavour difference in blotting the tomatoes of some of their tasty liquid.
Line a couple of baking trays with lightly crumpled foil (baking paper doesn't work as well but is more environmentally friendly) and slick with a little of the oil. Lay on the tomatoes and brush with oil. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. While the tomatoes are roasting mix the remaining oil, separately, into the garlic and shallots. After 15 minutes add the oiled garlic and the herb sprigs to one of the trays.
While the tomatoes are roasting and the dough is resting, make your savoury spread of choice. Mix together your chosen ingredients and set aside. If you are having the ricotta dip, make this now by mixing everything up and popping in the fridge.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Roll out evenly on a clean, flour-dusted (I use more cornmeal) work surface to your desired shape, but about 12-inch diameter/ 1/4 inch thick. It may crack so just patch it with other bits that will be sticking out. Loosely roll half of the dough onto your rolling pin (it may need assistance from a cake lifter thingy) and drape the dough fully onto a baking paper-lined tray.
Spread the savoury spread of your choice across the dough, with only a bit near the edges. Add on most of the roasted garlic pieces (don't worry about the herbs, they flavoured the garlic and are now optional), all of the shallot pieces and lay on the roasted tomatoes, leaving a gap near the edges. Top with any random bits of roasted garlic. Fold the edges of the naked dough up over the outer quarter of the tomatoes (see images). Brush with beaten egg and return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes. It should look rustic, not perfect!
Turn up the oven temperature to 200C fan/220C/425 F.
Once chilled, bake the galette in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 160C fan/180C/ 350F and bake a further 20 minutes, lightly covering with foil if necessary to keep it from browning too quickly.
Pull from the oven and cool slightly or to room temperature before cutting into 6 slices and serving with salads and Ricotta Dip. Garnish with extra herbs.
The nutritional information is for one slice, but a typical serving would be two slices.
This galette makes delicious leftovers. It can be stored in an air-tight container at cool room temperature for couple of days. It is a great addition to a packed lunch or picnic as it tastes just as good warm or room temperature.
Feel free to add other vegetables, such as thinly cut zucchini, cubes of eggplant (lightly pre-cooked), thinly sliced broccoli, even par-cooked slices of new potato.
To make a softer, more pliant, dough don't use the cornmeal and replace the oats with more flour.