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help, a vegetarian is coming to my dinner party! (potato & onion galette)

November 16, 2010

Emily is not my only animal-loving, meat-spurning vegetarian friend. I have plenty of them, and hey, I used to be one. Lately, so many people are vegetarians that at the very least, hosts and hostesses are aware of the need to have a vegetarian dish. But so often, vegetarians get the shaft at dinner parties. I remember it all too well: “Um, that steak looks delicious, but sure, this plain Jane salad is totally satisfying,” or “Gee, thanks for the spaghetti & canned tomato sauce. Don’t worry, I’m not at all tempted by the meaty delicious sauce you’re serving your guests, with all those fresh veggies and garlic in it.” Clearly I caved to the temptations of meat at some point, but I still want to make sure I never serve my vegetarian friends anything boring. If possible, I like to serve them something savory (a rarity among many of the simpler vegetarian dishes).

This is now my go-to recipe for that purpose, and the best part is that people who do eat meat will like it too and can eat smaller servings as a side dish.

It’s simple, delicious, cheesy, and it reheats well in the microwave (which is helpful in case some of your vegetarian friends cancel on you and you’ve got tons of leftovers).

Potato & Onion Galette

Adapted from Notebook Worthy

Galette Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 TBSP cold, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP cold water
  • 2 TBSP ice-cold vodka (or just more water if you don’t consume alcohol)

Yummy Potato & Onion Filling

  • 6 oz Gruyere (or plain ol’ Swiss) cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lb red potatoes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil, divided (into 1/2 TBSP and 1 TBSP)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper (medium grind is ideal)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme or rosemary or a mix of both

First, make the pie/galette dough. Briefly pulse the flour and salt in a food processor (or whisk them together in a medium bowl if you’re visiting your boyfriend and working within the confines of a boy kitchen). Cut the butter into small, 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes, and throw it in your food processor with the flour & salt. Mix in the food processor until it resembles a coarse meal. If working without a food processor, use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal (and if all else fails, use your hands, but it won’t be as flaky if you have to use your hands). Then add the water & vodka (or just water) tablespoon by tablespoon, mixing the dough with a spatula (or your hands) after each tablespoon. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

While that’s in the fridge, making the filling. Cut the onion into thin slices, and cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch think slices.

In a medium-sized pan, heat 1/2 TBSP of the oil. Once its hot, sautee the onions for 8 to 10 minutes, until they’re starting to turn soft and slightly brown (and are starting to give off that unbelievably yummy onion smell). Put the sauteed onions in a medium bowl with the potato slices (yes, the potato slices are uncooked at this point). Add in the thyme/rosemary, the 1/2 tsp of salt, several shakes or grinds of your pepper, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Stir until the oil and seasonings evenly coat the potato and onions, then set it aside to cool. Do not add the cheese at this point.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

After the dough has cooled, roll it out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. It should be about 13 inches in diameter, but this isn’t as crucial as it is for a pie dough that has to go in a proper pie pan, so do your best.

After the filling has cooled, mix in the cheese. Mound this potato/onion/cheese mixture into the center of the rolled-out dough, leaving a few inches of dough at the edges. Drizzle a little more olive oil (1 to 2 teaspoons) and sprinkle some more pepper over the mixture. Then, fold the edges of the dough up over the filling. Try to pleat it in some kind of organized fashion.

Brush the edges of the assembled galette with the beaten egg.

Stick this puppy in the stove and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. At this point, the crust will be a deep golden color (on top & bottom), and the potatoes will feel soft to the touch (preferably the touch of a fork, not your poor hand).

Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing into pieces and serving to your guests.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink*
    November 16, 2010 11:11 am

    This sounds absolutely divine. Most of the time I’m pretty forgiving, since it’s a choice and all. I draw the line at being served buttered noodles in lieu of a meaty pasta dish, which has happened more times than I can count. So not only does the host not want me to enjoy my dinner, they want me to die of congestive heart failure. Thanks!

    • Sarah permalink
      November 16, 2010 11:39 pm

      They just want you to live on the wild side perhaps. Aren’t you willing to risk your life for a..erm, unsatisfying, vegetarian, lazily-made pasta dish? Well, aren’t you? Well, if not, this looks delish and healthy.

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