I’ll start with the almost catastrophe. As I carried two savoury galettes from the kitchen to the dining table, they slipped off the cooling rack I was holding and fell –
– one of them face down –
– onto plates I had just set out.
The pastry mostly stayed in tact. There was a little cracking and breaking around the edges, and a few bits of crunchy, flaky pastry made a bid for freedom and landed on the table, but the galettes held together better than I could have hoped. Even the upside down galette flipped around again, tarte tatin-style, not much the worse for wear.
The cheese probably helped to hold the galettes together, but I am also giving the pastry a tick for being tough enough to cope with my clumsiness. Really, some days my feet seem to look out for potholes or uneven paving stones to trip over, or poles to walk into. And the number of times I’ve almost knocked over that bag of flour or sugar!
Catastrophe aside. the pastry was a delight to eat, and not at all like a brick (which would also survive my clumsiness). There is cornmeal, sour cream or yoghurt, and a long resting time. The result was different from your superfine Parisian pastry, it had character, crunch, colour, and a certain heft. It was a pastry that helped to set off the toppings on the galette, but also held its own. We talked about the flavour and texture of the pastry as much as the colours of (miniaturised) tomatoes on the topping.
Which brings me to the tomatoes. I saw these in the grocers and knew, just knew, they were destined for the galettes. They were yellow, 1960s orange, red, and a dark red-brown with darker streaks. They created a beautiful colour wheel on their own.
They also had that real tomato taste, that umami taste, and only needs the tiniest amount of sugar, or balsamic vinegar, to become a complete salad. Paired with basil and mozzarella, it was a real pretty sight.