The Victory Galette: A Tomato Success Story
There’s been a lot of battles over fruits and veggies in our backyard, and frankly, our success rates against nature’s vegetable stealing hooligans have been questionable at best. Birds and chipmunks for sure, but man, the rabbits, and squirrels have been relentless, especially on our tomatoes. Like the jerks that they are, they like to take just a bite out of them to taste and claim as their own, leaving the bitten tomato on the ground for us to see while they chatter and snicker from the safety of their tree or ground cover.
This year has been different though. I’d like to believe it was something I’ve done to make them retreat, but I just don’t know. Maybe they’re just thinking I’m a little crazy for being out there and chasing them around and waving my arms like a mad man. (I’m sure some of the Ring doorbells around would support that theory.) Maybe they’ve realized that I’m becoming a pretty good marksman with the jet setting on the hose. Or maybe our bounty has increased enough that there are actually enough tomatoes for all to share and enjoy. And these are some beauties.
Heirloom varieties that were planted with care and babied in early spring to protect them from frost and cooler temps have now burst forth with numbers that no one expected. And so now we try to come up with tomato dishes to make use of these homegrown hotties. And of course, the popular notion is to make a galette, mainly because they’re just so darn good but also to celebrate our claim to a tomato victory season. So let’s get after it.
A couple of pounds of tomatoes were sliced and put into a bowl with two thinly sliced garlic cloves and salt to sit for 10 minutes or so to start releasing their moisture. They are patted dry before being laid out over a refrigerated pie crust that was rolled out nice and thin. The bottom of the crust is sprinkled with about a cup of shredded cheese, in this case it was gouda. Very gouda, and then the sliced tomatoes and garlic can be spread out over the cheese, leaving about an inch or so border to fold the crust over, leaving the center exposed. A quick egg wash over the crust was good to hold the salt and fresh cracked black pepper seasoning tossed around the edge.
The galette is easy to maneuver around while it’s on parchment paper, so I lifted it up and into a cold cast iron pan. With a hot (350-400°C), but indirect fire ready on the trusty old Weber, the pan can be situated near but not over the coals. The grill lid is kept on, only being removed to rotate the pan every 15 minutes or so.I used hardwood lump, so there is some smoke flavor already built in to the coals, but you can add some wood or wood chips to get an extra layer of flavor, if desired or course.
I had my doubts about halfway through when I checked on the galette and saw so much liquid around the exterior edge, but sure enough, by the time it was done grilling (about an hour), the liquid was all gone and all that was left was a beautiful golden and crispy tomato galette with a flaky crust, buttery texture, and a bite that features a creamy gouda base holding up that smokey tomato and garlic finish. Tastes like victory!
It was left a few moments to cool, and then topped with green onions sliced on the bias for a fantastic finish.
Because Life Is Better Wood-Fired
- Cast Iron Pan
- Patchment Paper
- 1 pie crust, homemade or store bourght
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 2 lbs tomatoes, cut in 1/4 inch slices
- 2 cloves garlic, shaved thin
- 1 egg, for egg wash
- 1 salt and pepper, to taste