A galette is a kind of rustic French pie, the sort of thing that farmers’ wives used to throw together with whatever was to hand to make a meal out of simple ingredients. Kale is a robust green that tastes best after the first frost, making it a good winter standby when other fresh green stuff was in short supply.
You can make your own short-crust pastry/pie crust or use a ready-made roll of pastry from the supermarket if you are in a hurry or not that confident with pastry-making. You can replace the kale with Swiss chard, silverbeet, spinach or other seasonal greens. If you have fresh herbs like flat leaf parsley or dill in the garden, you can add some of these to the mix. The mushrooms can also be varied according to what is available. In other words, like so many good recipes that have stood the test of time, it can be adapted to the real world!
1 sheet of pastry, preferably short-crust but puff or flaky will do if short crust is not available.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tub (around 250 grams) ricotta cheese or cottage cheese if ricotta is not available. (Drain it in a sieve if it is very wet)
250 grams fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 large bunch of kale, chard or spinach, thoroughly washed and then roughly chopped
1 beaten egg
Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade (180 if fan-assisted).
Lay the sheet of pastry on a lightly greased baking sheet and trim the corners so you have a rough circle.
Season the cheese with a little salt and pepper and spread it in the middle of the pastry, leaving the edges clear.
Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the mushrooms and onions until they are just golden and any liquid has evaporated. Tip into a bowl to cool and heat the remaining olive oil in the frying pan.
Saute the greens until wilted and all moisture has evaporated. Add them to the mushrooms and stir lightly to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread the mushroom and kale mixture over the cheese. Slash the margins of the pastry and fold it up over the filling, leaving the middle free (see photograph). Lightly brush the pastry with the beaten egg.
Bake in the hot oven for about 20 minutes, turning the heat down a little if it is browning too quickly. The pastry should be cooked through and golden.
Serve warm with a tomato salad. Note, this pie tends to go soggy if left standing for too long so get everyone to the table quickly!