Fresh, tender asparagus roasted with a mixture of cheeses and a hint of garlic, surrounded by a warm, nourishing crust. If that sounds good to you, then you should give this recipe a try, because that is what I think of when I make this asparagus galette. I love the fact that you can put almost any vegetable or fruit in a galette. It is such a great way to take seasonal produce and turn it into a light meal. With asparagus season in full swing here, an asparagus galette was inevitably going to happen in this kitchen. The recipe I am sharing below is based on a conglomeration of the countless galette recipes out there in the world. Many savory galette recipes are interchangeable, once you have a basic amount of cheese and vegetables. The fun is in the creative part–adjusting the types of cheeses, seasonings, and choosing the freshest vegetables available.
As far as the crust goes, I enjoy making my own, and will include one of my favorite crust recipes. Feel free to use your own favorite pie crust recipe. If you are super-short on time, a store-bought crust works fine too. I personally love the feeling of taking very separate ingredients and mixing them together to form a dough that holds together, even when stretched and shaped. It gives me great satisfaction, like I am creating something out of nothing, and as I have mentioned before, I feel like I am connecting with ancestors and previous generations of bakers when I get out my flour canister and rolling pin. When I am baking, I feel like my kitchen becomes a sacred space, outside of time and place.
That is kind of how I feel when I go biking as well, and with the weather so gorgeous the last few days, I have gotten out on my bike a few times. The jump from baking to biking is just one letter, and both activities take me outside of normal space and time. Anyone who knows me knows I tend to be a bit of a worrier, but with biking, as with baking, I feel like I can leave my usual self behind. I can bike fast enough so that my worries cannot catch up to me, and I am one with the breeze and the trees. Luckily, there is a lovely country road near our house that is not at all busy, and I can ride down that road and encounter more birds than I do cars.
Asparagus season, the beginning of biking season, the beginning of June. The leaves are full, the butterflies are out, and I have even seen some dragonflies. The cherries and black raspberries are looking promising this year. It is warm and fresh and bright outside. My grandfather liked to quote poetry, and on days like these, perfect June days, he would often quote parts of a James Russell Lowell poem: “And what is so rare as a day in June?/Then, if ever, come perfect days….Now is the high-tide of the year/And whatever of life hath ebbed away/comes flooding back with a ripply cheer.” Enjoy the lovely June day, and have a great weekend!
For the crust
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup milk
For the filling
- 1/2 to 3/4 pounds fresh asparagus
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Feta
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat your over to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix up your pie crust dough. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the canola oil and the milk, then pour gradually into the flour mixture. Gently stir with a fork or pastry cutter until a dough forms. Divide the dough in two equal-sized balls. (If you do this ahead of time, it can be stored, covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for a few hours. Just let it warm to about room temperature before rolling it out). Spread some wax paper on a work surface, and lightly flour the paper. Flatten one of the balls of dough with your hand as much as you can. Then use a rolling pin, rolling from the center of the dough, and roll out a circle of about 12 inches in diameter. If your edges get ragged or torn, patch them together or trim them so they are somewhat uniform. Spread a sheet of parchment paper on a heavy baking sheet. Gently roll the dough onto your floured rolling pin, and gently unroll it onto the parchment papered baking sheet. Patch any dough that tears.
Wash and pat dry the asparagus. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, Feta, and mozzarella cheese. Toss with one teaspoon of the olive oil. In a different small bowl, combine the two tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic. Transfer the cheese mixture to the crust on the baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, leaving a 2 inch border around the edges. Then lay the asparagus spears side-by-side on top of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the olive oil-garlic mixture. Fold and pleat the edges of the dough up and over the outer edge of the filling, all the way around. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown. Enjoy!
Note: I use the other ball of dough to make a second galette, the same as the first one, since people in my family have big appetites. If you are making only one galette, store the other ball of dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or the freezer for up to 3 weeks (depending on how soon you will use it), and use it for another dish.