Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wild asparagus, yoghurt and ricotta galette with whole-wheat pastry

Greek holidays are not for vegetarians. We celebrate with lots of food, mostly meat, and especially on Easter (Orthodox Easter is this Sunday), the food is for hard-core carnivores and not for the faint-hearted.




We roast a whole lamb on a spit, we make kokoretsi (lamb’s liver and lungs wrapped with lamb’s intestines), kontosouvli (pork neck pieces on a spit), sausages, fried veal liver and so on and so forth, you get the picture. In case you don’t, check out this post in which I shared some photos from my Easter in Greece two years ago.


There’s always a need for something fresh on the table alongside all that meat, like salads, legume dishes and pites (Greek pies). You know I love making pites, small or large, but I also love making galettes, like this one I made the other day using the wild asparagus I raved on about in my last post.




It would make a perfect side dish for the Easter table or any other occasion really. It would also make a perfect light lunch or dinner to pair with a glass of wine and eat outside. Have you noticed how the days are getting warmer and warmer?


The pastry, which is partly made with whole wheat flour, is smeared with a mixture of Greek yoghurt and ricotta and then topped with wild asparagus that have been tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. After baking, the asparagus are drizzled with some more extra virgin olive oil that makes them glisten and even more irresistible than they already are.




The flavors of the fresh and mildly bitter wild asparagus mingle with the sweet and smooth creaminess of the ricotta-yoghurt and the short, crumbly and buttery base that melts in your mouth and that has an earthy quality which pairs beautifully with the wild asparagus. A knockout spring tart.




Kali Anastasi and Kalo Pascha (Happy Easter) to all my fellow Greeks and to all those who celebrate!







Wild asparagus, yoghurt and ricotta galette with whole-wheat pastry

If you’re in Greece, you can substitute the ricotta with anthotyro.
If you can't find wild asparagus, you can substitute them with slender green asparagus spears.

The pastry can be made one or two days in advance and kept in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap.




Yield: 1 galette / 6 pieces

Ingredients

for the pastry dough
130 g whole-wheat flour
130 g all-purpose flour
170 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
60 ml (4 Tbsp) cold water

for the filling
150 g Greek yoghurt 2% fat
150 g ricotta cheese
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200 g wild asparagus

1 small egg, beaten, for glazing

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


Preparation

for the pastry dough
• with a food processor
In a large food processor, add the flours, cold cubed butter and salt and process for a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add the vinegar and the cold water and process in order to bring together the mixture into a rough dough. Don’t over mix.


• 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 vinegar and the cold water and mix with your hands, working quickly, until you have a rough dough.

Empty the dough onto a clean surface and knead lightly to form a smooth dough. Don’t knead too much or vigorously. Shape it into a ball and then a flattened disk. Wrap it with a large piece of plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill, for 2 hours.

for the filling
While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling.
Add yoghurt, ricotta, a little salt and pepper, and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Rinse the asparagus under cold running water and snap off the woody parts at the bottom end. In order to do that, take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger, holding the top half with your other hand, and bend it until it snaps. It will automatically snap at the part where the woody part ends and the tender part starts. This snapping point will be lower or higher depending on the spear.
Cut the asparagus in half if they are too long and place them in a bowl. Toss them with salt and pepper and 1 Tbsp olive oil.

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

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 35cm round, with a 3mm 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). Remove the top baking paper and place the rolled out dough, along with the bottom baking paper, onto a baking sheet.
Smear ¾ of the yoghurt-ricotta filling evenly on top of the dough, leaving a space around the edges of the pastry, about 4cm. See photo for reference.
Top with the asparagus and 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 filling.
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 35-37 minutes until the pastry takes on a golden-brown color and the asparagus look a bit charred.
Take the galette out of the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes and drizzle the filling with a little olive oil.
Optionally, you can top it with some freshly grated lemon zest or even a grating of parmesan.

Serve with the remaining yoghurt-ricotta filling on the side.

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




13 comments:

  1. Haha, the Greek meat-preoccupation reminds me of the Big Fat Greek Wedding movie. The bride to be about her fiancé: "He's vegetarian...", the Greek auntie turns to the fiancé: "It's ok, I make you lamb!"

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    1. Being a Greek vegetarian is not easy. Thankfully I am not ;)

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  2. It would be an amazing thing to be included in an Easter feast as you described it. I would love to try the kokoretsi! Sigh. I will just have to make do with our boring W.A.S.P. Easters till I find myself in Greece!

    Wishing you and S. a wonderful and happy Easter, Magda! xo, David

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  3. Miam miam. Asparagus are my fav veggie! This crust seems fantastic also. And so light! xx cathy

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  4. Magda, I hope you had a wonderful Easter!!!
    You're galette looks fabulous. So jealous of your wild asparagus bounty;)
    xoxo
    E

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  5. Looks Wonderful Magda. I know Greek's love their meat but they also make some of the best vegetarian food out there.

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    Replies
    1. We sure do :) Thanks Elizabeth!

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  6. happy orthodox easter to you, russian easter is coming up soon too and we are busy for preparations here. such a delicious tart, love asparagus this time of year.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Thalia. This post is from last year (2015). Greek Orthodox Easter is on 1 May this year (2016) so we have some time to go still :)

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