Cooking therapy and gallette aux tomates

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Have you ever noticed, as the holidays approach, reality increasingly resembles the season finale of the walking dead?  It’s almost like the stars perfectly align with Saturn just to p**ss you off for free. Today, in the midst of a review of the office work plan, while I was trying to make sense of complete and utter chaos, a vein on my forehead started to pound and I seriously thought this might happen.

I feel I am ready for three long, almost interminable, weeks filled with lazy chats, cold wine at dusk and page turners. Since I still have exactly one month to go (who’s counting?) I cook instead.

Cooking has always had a calming effect on me. Especially kneading. It gives me a sense of mindful inner quiet. I love the magic of mixing some humble and raw elements that heat and patience turn into something delicious (and fattening).

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I enjoy the anticipation of waiting for dinner with a glass of wine at hand and the instinct of smelling almost the exact moment when a crust  becomes flaky and golden in the oven.

Tonight as soon as I got home, before opening that excel file again, I sliced some tomatoes and made a buttery pie crust. The smell of thyme invaded the kitchen and I felt whole again.

Gallette aux tomates (4 people)

Pie crust

340 gr of all purpose flour

170 gr of buckwheat flour (if you prefer a taste less strong use spelt)

150 gr of cold butter

1/2 tsp of salt

half a cup of grated cheddar or pecorino or any aged goat cheese

1 tbsp of thyme

iced water

In a mixer add the flours, salt, diced butter mix until it becomes grainy.Add grated cheese and thyme. Pulse to integrate it. Add some iced water, a tbsp at a time and pulse until some clumps start to form and the dough holds together when pinched with fingers. Make a ball, put it in clean film and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Filling 

250 gr ricotta cheese

100 gr of cheddar cheese

15 black olives without the stone

olive oil EVO

red onions

sumac

thyme

2 big tomatoes

lemon zest

Slice the onion and put it in a pan with 3 tbsp of olive oil.  When soft and translucent add salt, pepper and thyme. Let it cook slowly until it caramelizes (10 min). In the meantime mix the ricotta, the cheddar, the olives chopped in small pieces, and some olive oil in a bowl. Set aside. Slice the tomatoes and let the liquid drain on the board for at least 10 minutes.

Assembling

Roll the dough on a wax paper. Lay the onions and then on top the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle some sumac, then add the tomatoes. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 200C.

Enjoy it with some lemon zest on top.

 

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