Cabbage and potato galette with a walnut crust

Cabbage and potato galette

We’re making great leaps in swimming this summer, here at The Ordinary. Isaac learned to swim. It’s a breath-stoppingly cute move. His be-goggled face takes on a look of fiendish glee as he plunges into the water. He squiggles and flounders his little arms and legs until you don’t know if he’s rising or falling, and then he pops up, triumphant and joyful. And Malcolm, who can now do a front flip off the diving-board, invented a new stroke suitable to his sleek water animal status. No splashing, no flailing, just a smooth squiggle move that propels him through the water. We were at a pool in the poconos this week, and I was catching my bubbly little Isaac as he popped out of the water, when I chanced to hear the words “cabbage,” and “beets.” Well! A food conversation. I decided to eavesdrop. Four older men and women were bobbing tranquilly in the water, oblivious to the childish chaos all around them, sharing recipes for stuffed cabbage. They all had very definite ideas about how it should be made. One suggested the importance of making your own lard. He buys a slab. A slab of pig? Exactly. A woman in a purple bathing cap, balancing with odd solidity on a giant purple styrofoam noodle, declared that she doesn’t use lard, because she “doesn’t eat the fat.” Klondike bars, however, she’ll eat five a night! Despite the triglycerides! They decided to get together for dinner. To cook. I’d love to see that! I really would.

I have some cabbage from the CSA. I decided against stuffing it with klondike bars and lard, and opted instead to make a galette. I wanted it to be sweet and cripsyish, but also soft and comforting. I like cabbage when it’s very lightly cooked, so that’s how I approached this galette. I made a walnut crust (surprise!) and threw a few handfuls of toasted walnuts into the filling as well, for crunch. I was determined to add potatoes to the filling, and so I did, after frying them in olive oil. They were lovely! I flavored it with tamari (in a nod to moo shoo vegetable, which is one of the few cabbage dishes I like), white wine, and basil, tarragon, and thyme. I think it turned out really tasty! David liked it, too, and he’s not a fan of cabbage in any form. Score!! It’s not the prettiest thing you’ll ever make, so serve it with something colorful and crunchy, like a crispy salad with lots of fresh tomatoes and basil.

Here’s Goin up the Country, by Barbecue Bob.

THE CRUST

is made like this…up to the part where you chill the dough.

THE FILLING

1/2 head of a large cabbage, outer leaves removed, stem cut out, sliced into 1/4 inch segments one way, and then 1/3 inch segments the other (diced very fine, in other words!) About 4 cups uncooked
2 medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled) and cut into 1/3 inch dice (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
2 carrots – one roughly grated, the other cut finely into matchsticks
1 onion, diced very fine
1 plump clove garlic – minced
3 + 1 T olive oil
1 t fresh rosemary
1 t fresh tarragon
1 t fresh thyme
1 small handful fresh basil
1 T tamari
1 T white wine
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 egg
1/2 cup walnuts – toasted and grated
salt and plenty of pepper

Boil a medium-sized pot of salted water. Drop the potatoes in and cook for about 6 minutes, till they’re just starting to soften. Drain in a sieve, roughing them up a bit as you drain them (the rough part will become crispy!) Let them get quite dry.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the 3 T olive oil until quite hot. Add the potatoes, and cook till they’re brown and crispy. 15 minutes, maybe. Use a metal spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan. Let the potatoes sit for a few minutes to cook, and then stir them, scrape the bottom, and cook some more. The pan should become quite dry by the time you’re done. Set the crispy potatoes aside on a plate, and spread them in a single layer.

Rinse the pan and dry it, and then return it to the heat. Add the onion and rosemary, and cook till it starts to brown. Add the garlic and carrots, and cook till the garlic starts to brown, and the carrots become bright and a bit wilted. Add the tamari and the white wine, the tarragon and the thyme. When the pan seems quite glazed, turn off the heat, but leave the pan on it. Stir in all of the cabbage. Stir till it’s coated, and let it absorb the heat and wilt slightly. Then tip it into a big bowl. Stir in the walnuts, the basil, the cheddar, salt and pepper. Stir in the egg. Then add the potatoes, and stir to mix thoroughly, but be careful not to smush them.

Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly butter a big tart pan or a baking sheet. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to be a circle about 2 feet across, maybe 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Carefully fold it into quarters, and transport it to the baking sheet. Unfold it. Don’t worry about holes and tears, you can patch them up as you go along.

Tip the filling into the center of the dough circle, and spread it to be about 2 inches thick, with a border of 3 or 4 inches of dough all the way around. Fold this up to make a circle, but don’t worry about getting the edges very neat. Press the dough to seal it slightly, and fill in any cracks or holes in the sides or bottom of the dough.

Bake for about 20 minutes till it’s nicely browned on top.

Let cool for at least ten minutes, to set. Then cut into slices.

Serve with something colorful and crunchy, like a nice green salad with plenty of ripe tomatoes.

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