I am overjoyed to report that baking season is finally back.
Turning on your oven is no longer a misery – actually, as it heats up your kitchen and fills it with warm baking aromas, it’s a delight. And I’ve got the ideal recipe for the season.
I’ve said it before, but I’m a big fan of a galette. These rustic, rough-and-ready pies are straightforward to make and endlessly flexible – make them sweet or savoury; use whatever veg you have to hand; change up the accompaniments, from cheeses to spices and herbs – but they still have a feeling of occasion when they’re removed from the oven, all heavy and bronzed.
Heirloom tomato and basil is my go-to, but I decided to tweak the formula with this more autumnal option. Here, roseate slices of beetroot are paired with whipped goat cheese and feta, drizzled in honey and topped with hazelnuts and tarragon. Enveloped all in a flaky, buttery dough (flavoured here with a little Parmigiano Reggiano and caraway seeds), this is a meal fit for a woodland picnic (or for eating under a fleece blanket on the sofa – your choice).
For a dish like this, a lightweight red – one with some earthiness to match the beetroot – is a good like-with-like pairing. Lo Fi Gamay/Pinot Noir 2021 couldn't have been more complementary. Hailing from Santa Barbara County in California, this chillable red mixes Gamay and Pinot Noir grapes. It’s both fun and poppy, with buoyant red fruit notes, but also delicately earthy; there’s a whiff of musk and forest about it. It’s a wine that captures the in-the-rear-view essence of summer and gestures to the season to come. Pop it in your panier, too; you’ll want to drink this in view of the falling leaves.
Beetroot and Whipped Goat Cheese and Feta Galette
Makes two galettes
For the dough:
105g all-purpose flour, plus additional for the work surface
70g wholemeal rye flour
1 teaspoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
115g unsalted butter, chilled
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
60ml ice water
For the whipped goat cheese and feta:
100g soft, rindless goat cheese, room temperature
50g feta, room temperature
3-5 tablespoons double cream
Pinch flaky sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the galettes:
1 large beetroot
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Extra virgin olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 small handful fresh tarragon
1. In a food processor, add both flours, the sea salt, sugar and Parmigiano Reggiano. Pulse to blend. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour mixture. Blend on low until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the caraway seeds. With the motor running, add the water in a steady stream until the dough just comes together into a ball. If it’s looking a little dry or crumbly, you can add a small amount of additional water.
2. Lightly flour your hands and your work surface; the dough should be relatively sticky. Scoop the dough onto the counter and lightly dust with flour. Knead once or twice until uniform. Pat into a slightly flattened disk. Wrap with cling-film and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
3. Next, make the whipped goat cheese and feta. After cleaning your food processor, add the goat cheese and feta, plus three tablespoons of cream. Blend, adding more cream if needed, until softened and whipped (but not runny). Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
4. Prepare the remaining galette ingredients. Peel the beetroot and cut off the stem; using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice very thinly. Next, toast the hazelnuts: Place in a small frying pan over medium-low heat and toast, tossing frequently, for 3-5 minutes, or until evenly golden-brown. Remove from the heat and leave to cool before roughly chopping. Set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Remove the galette dough from the fridge and divide into two equal pieces. Set one aside. Ensure your work surface and rolling pin are well floured. Roll out the first half until it’s approximately ⅛-inch thick, or 9-10 inches wide, rolling it slightly thinner at the edges (it doesn’t need to be a perfect circle). Transfer the rolled-out dough to the baking sheet, placing it as close to one end as possible (you will need to fit both galettes on the baking sheet).
6. Dollop half of the whipped goat cheese and feta in the middle of the dough, spreading with the back of a spoon until evenly distributed, and leaving a 1-inch margin around the edges. Arrange half the beetroot slices in a scalloped pattern, starting from the middle of the dough, until they cover the goat cheese. Season the beetroot slices with flaky sea salt, and lightly drizzle over extra-virgin olive oil and honey. Fold the edges of the dough over the beetroot, leaving the middle exposed (the edges will overlap unevenly, but don’t worry – that’s part of the charm).
7. Roll out the second round of dough and transfer to the other side of the baking sheet. Repeat the process and fold over the edges as before. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg over the folded-over edges of both galettes. Transfer to the oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until the galette is golden-brown and the beetroot slices are just beginning to darken around the edges. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.
8. To serve, divide the chopped hazelnuts between the two galettes, crumble over any additional goat cheese or feta (if preferred) and lightly drizzle over a bit more honey. Top with the fresh tarragon leaves. Serve warm or room temperature.
Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beer and wine hound and an all-around lover of tasty things. Our first book with Claire, The Beer Lover’s Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, is available in all good book stores (and at HB&B). Follow her on Twitter at @clairembullen. Don’t miss out on Claire’s wine and food pairings, which go out every month in our Natural Wine Killers subscription box.