A tomato galette is one of the great joys of summer. It is easy to make, too, and forgiving.

This morning, I was pleased to see a photograph of a beautiful tomato galette posted on my facebook wall, along with a note from a friend, who had just made it. There were requests for the recipe and I promised to post it, so here it is.

Tomato Galette with Bacon • Serves 4 to 6

For the best results, select dense-fleshed tomatoes that are heavy for their size.

  • 4 to 5 medium, dense-flesh heirlooms tomatoes
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 14-inch galette dough (recipe follows), chilled for 1 hour
  • 3 ounces Italian fontina or Redwood Hill Goat Cheddar, thinly sliced
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives or fresh minced Italian parsley
  • 1 egg white, mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt or Hawaiian alaea salt
  1. Remove the stem cores of the tomatoes and slice off each end.  Cut each tomato into 3/8-inch thick round slices, season with salt, cover the slices with a tea towel and set them aside.
  2. Fry the bacon until it is just crisp; transfer to absorbent paper and set aside.
  3. Drain the juices that have collected around the tomatoes, using your fingers to press out any large pockets of seeds and gel.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and if you have not put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment, do so now.
  5. Arrange the cheese over the surface of the tart, leaving a 2-inch margin around the edges.  If more juices have formed around the tomatoes, drain them again and set the tomatoes on top of the cheese in concentric circles that overlap slightly.  Season the tomatoes lightly with kosher salt and generously with black pepper from the mill.  Scatter the chives  over the top of the tomatoes, arrange the bacon strips on top, and then gently fold the edges of the tart up and over the tomatoes, pleating the edges as you fold them.  Using a pastry brush, brush the edge of the tart lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle it with the sea salt or Hawaiian salt.
  6. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the tomatoes soft and fragrant, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a rack to cool, cut into wedges and serve warm.

Variations:

1)To make zucchini tarts, omit the bacon and use thin (1/4-inch) rounds of zucchini in place of tomatoes, arranging them in concentric circles on top of the cheese. Scatter 2 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic over the zucchini, brush with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake until the crust is golden brown.

2)For red onion tarts, cut 3 to 4 red onions into very thin slices and saute in about 3 tablespoons olive oil over very low heat until limp and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the heat and season with kosher salt, several turns of black pepper and 2 teaspoons minced oregano leaves. Fill the dough with the onions as described above (omitting the tomatoes and bacon) and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool and serve warm.

Savory Galette Dough • Makes 2 large or 8 small Galettes

When students tell me they can’t make dough, I often use this recipe to teach them how. Because it is so easy it boosts confidence quickly and I’ve found over the years that it’s mostly lack of confidence that gets in the way of a good dough. As long as you use chilled butter, cold water and don’t overwork the mixture, you should have excellent results every time. For sweet galettes, see the variation at the end of this recipe.

  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and and the pepper, if using.  Cut in the butter, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal; work very quickly so that the butter does not become too warm.  Add the ice water and press the dough gently until it just comes together; do not overmix–it’s okay if there appears to be unmoistened flour.  Spread a sheet of plastic wrap over a flat surface and turn the dough out onto it.
  2. Grip the ends of the plastic wrap and pull them together, so that the wrap presses the dough together.  Wrap the dough into a ball and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.  (At this point, the dough can be wrapped a second time and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.)
  3. To make the pastry, cut the dough into 2 or into 8 equal pieces, depending on whether you will make large or individual galettes.
  4. Set the dough on a floured work surface and use the palm of your hand to pat it flat.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick.  Large galettes should be about 14 inches in diameter; small galettes should be about 6 to 8 inches in diameter.
  5. Set the dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and keep chilled until ready to fill.  (The dough can also be frozen after it has been rolled; be sure to wrap it tightly.)

Variation:  For sweet galettes, use 1/4 teaspoon salt and add 1 teaspoon sugar at the same time.