let's get together
Ahh…a New Year. Do you make resolutions? Do you keep them? I tend to make a bunch, and if one or two stick I call it a win. This year the list includes daily journaling, learning to meditate, reading that book I’ve had on my nightstand for a year, shutting off the phone/computer an hour before bed and getting to sleep by 10:30pm. We’re a week in and so far I’m zero for five.
A friend reminded me a “New Year” can start any day, so we’re just going to push this whole thing back a bit and try again next week.
Resolutions aside, I have decided on a theme for 2023 - connectedness. I don’t know if it’s the last few years of pandemic weirdness we all lived through or a greater astrological shift, but whatever it is I feel a pull towards connecting with others, the earth and myself in a new and urgent way. It’s so easy for us all to lean on the crutch of “busyness” when it comes to making time for each other and ourselves. We think there will be this magical moment when time will feel abundant and we can finally show up the way we want to, start that practice we’ve always thought about, call that friend on our mind, or simply be more present. The truth is, the time is now. Even if the moments are small - intentional connection with others, myself, the earth, my community, is a practice that I am committed to deepening in this New Year.
Connecting comes in many forms, one of our favorites being over a homemade meal, of course. For maximum connectedness while hosting and cooking for others we love a no-fuss spread of foods. Things that be can prepared before friends arrive so that your time together can be grazing and listening and sharing instead of roasting and plating and fussing. Crudite platters with cheese and spreads, hearty grain salads, even sandwiches are all great options. One thing we’ve had on our holiday table more than once this season is a rustic vegetable galette.
A hearty homemade pastry crust with spelt flour and seeds, a creamy squash base layer and an endless combination of vegetable toppings, make this centerpiece the perfect pair for a simply dressed arugula salad, your favorite cheese and a bowl of olives. It’s best served room temperature, which means you can make it hours ahead of time and graze on it for hours after - Connect over a galette. Am I a poet? Does that even rhyme? Bad jokes aside, I hope you give this a try and most importantly find someone to share it with. Happy New Year!
We love the earthiness of spelt flour and the added texture the seeds bring to this simple pastry dough. But feel free to use all purpose flour and omit the seeds if that sounds better to you. Want to keep it vegan? Use a vegan butter alternative, like Miyokos - both are delicious. Don’t love squash? Roast a whole head of garlic, squeeze out the tender cloves and spread that on the dough before layering vegetables. Beets, Brussel sprouts, caramelized onions, sautéed greens, the possibilities are endless...The point is, this thing is versatile, so follow the recipe to a T or make it your own.
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/4 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, hemp, sesame)
8 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter - cut into small 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup ice water - more as needed
1 cup homemade squash purée - season with salt
1 small shallot (1/4 cup) - sliced thin
1 smallish sweet potato - peeled, sliced into thin rounds, preferably on a mandolin or with a sharp knife
1 red apple - sliced into thin rounds, preferably on a mandolin or with a sharp knife
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Make puree by halving a winter squash or pumpkin and roasting flesh side down in a baking dish with a 1/2 inch water at 400 degrees until tender. Mash flesh and season with salt. Set aside. This can be made up to three days in advance.
Peel and slice sweet potato and slice apples into thin round disks. Toss with 1 Tbsp. Olive oil 1/2 tsp. Salt and fresh rosemary. Set aside
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine flour, seeds and salt in a mixing bowl. Add cold butter and work into the flour mixture by squishing pieces between your fingers until they are evenly distributed and in pea sized pieces. Work quickly as to not melt the butter. Add 1/4 cup ice water and mix into the dough with your hands. You should be able to form the dough into a ball. If it’s dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 Tbsp. at a time until it comes together. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk.
On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out the pastry to a round-ish shape, roughly 12 inches in diameter.
Spread 1 cup of squash puree over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge. Next scatter sliced shallots followed by a layer sweet potato and apples, arranged in concentric circles, until puree layer is completely covered. Fold the pastry edge up and over the filling to create a 1-inch border.
Bake the galette on the middle rack of the oven for 45min - 1 hour, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp. Transfer the galette to a cooling rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.