If I had to make a list of my top 10 favorite ingredients to cook with, leeks and mushrooms would take two of the spots. Mushrooms, with their earthy umami, and leeks— the friendliest onion—with their mild, almost sweet oniony flavor, get me every time. Fortunately for me, my husband feels the same way and when I came home from the local market with a bundle of massive leeks and a kilo of wild mushrooms in hand, he knew only good things could come out of it.
I’m a little spoiled here in Thailand with my mushroom selection. Just about any mushroom I could want, I can find at my little local farmer’s market… seven to eight varieties at any given time, all locally grown, and they are extremely affordable. Leeks, however, are not something I’ve always seen available, so I jumped at the opportunity when I saw that one of my favorite vendors had some that week!
If you aren’t already sold by the idea of creamed leeks (as in leeks cooked down until they are borderline caramelized and then thickened with cream) and thyme-and-garlic-spiked mushrooms, there’s still the galette crust to talk about. Galettes are basically an excuse to eat any filling you want in a buttery pie dough and call it a meal. This dough in particular utilizes whole wheat flour, which gives it a little heft and a very desirable texture. In my case, I found a stoneground whole wheat flour here and it gave these crusts a texture reminiscent of cornmeal that ended up being our favorite part about it! Flaky, buttery, but with a crumbly grittiness that left us wanting more after each bite. Another plus is they are rustic, so they don't require the care and tediousness of making a perfect pie crust. Flaws just make them look that much better.
So what I’m trying to say is, this recipe is a combination of all the yummiest things I could possibly think of. If you’re not sold by now, I give up.
Note: This recipe gives you options: You can make one large galette and cut into wedges. But because of the size of my oven, I opted to separate the dough into four smaller disks to make baking easier and make four personal-size galettes, which we enjoyed over the course of two days for brunch, once topping with fried quail eggs, and the following morning with poached duck eggs. But this galette can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, OR a perfect “meatless Monday” dinner.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
FOR THE DOUGH
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup (10.5 Tbs) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbs water, for baking (optional)
FOR THE FILLING
2 lbs assorted mushrooms of choice (I used a mixture of cremini, shitake, oyster, and shimeji)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
4 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
4 large leeks, white and light green parts only
1/2 cup water or broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
WHAT YOU’LL DO
FOR THE DOUGH
Pulse both flours and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter in a few small pieces at a time and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in the butter with your hands, breaking the butter up with your fingers.
Drizzle the mixture with the apple cider vinegar and up to ¼ cup ice water and pulse a few times until just barely incorporated, or if mixing in a bowl, combine with a fork. You can add more ice water by the tablespoonful if needed, but just until a dough barely comes together; lightly knead and fold until no dry spots or clumps of flour remain. There should still be visible bits of butter that haven’t been mixed in completely.
Pat into one large disk and wrap in plastic, or if making individual gallettes, cut that large disk into four quarters and shape each quarter into a disk and wrap individually. For the small disks, chill for 1 hour; for one large disk, chill at least 2 hours.
NOTE: To save time, this dough can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep in the fridge and remove 15 mins before you want to use so it’s pliable but cold.
FOR THE FILLING
Start with your leeks by slicing them in half lengthwise, and if they have a particularly large stalk, in half again to create quarters. Slice thinly, in 1/4 inch thick slices.
Melt 2 Tbs of the butter in a skillet on medium heat, and cook until the leeks are wilted and beginning to slowly caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Add the water or broth and cream, along with the nutmeg, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, adding more salt to taste.
Cook, stirring somewhat often, until the liquids are mostly absorbed and the mixture is thick. (You should be able to drag a spatula through the mixture without it filling in). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in the 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, starting with just a drop or two and tasting.
Transfer creamed leeks to a shallow bowl and set aside to cool.
Prep your mushrooms by brushing with a damp paper towel, removing undesired stems, or in the case of shimeji mushrooms, separate them into individual stalks, but keep the stem. Chop large mushrooms like Oyster into smaller pieces and slice cremini and shiitakes as desired. Remember they will shrink some when you pan sauté and bake them.
Melt the remaining 2 tbs of butter in the pan on medium heat, and add the mushrooms. Cook for roughly 5 minutes until you can see that the water has been released from them and they are just beginning to brown. Add the chopped thyme, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, stir a few times, and remove from heat.
ASSEMBLING THE GALETTE
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F / 200 C.
Remove a large piece of parchment and place on a flat surface. Lightly flour the surface of the parchment.
Roll out one of the dough disks on the floured parchment, trying to keep them as circular as possible, until they are 1/8th to 1/4 inch thick. Fill the center of each with 1/4 of your creamed leek mixture, spreading it in an even layer, but leaving a 1.5 inch border all around. Spread 1/4 of your mushroom mixture evenly over the leeks in a single layer. Now take the exposed crust all along the border and fold up and over towards the fillings, so the creamed leeks are now all the way to the far edge underneath your crust. Continue around the entire border. (Don’t worry if it’s not perfect or gorgeous, the beauty of galettes is they are supposed to be rustic.)
Transfer the galette to a baking sheet and repeat the process with as many more as can fit on one sheet, or bake one at a time, if desired. Keep the baking sheet in the fridge while you get the others ready so the crust stays cold.
Before baking, brush the crust with the egg wash, or one egg mixed with 1 tbs of water. (This will give the crust a beautiful golden color as it bakes, but it’s not a necessity if you have an egg allergy or aversion).
Bake for 20-25 minutes for small galettes, (35-40 for one large), or until the crust is golden brown and cooked through. Rotate the pan once during baking, about halfway through to ensure even results.
Serve warm, as is, topped with your favorite herbs, or with fried or poached eggs, as we enjoyed.
Serves 4 as a complete meal or 8 as part of a larger meal or appetizer.