Mmm rhubarb, you pretty pink tart vegetable, you! Rhubarb is one of the first plants that stretches up from the freshly defrosted ground in early to mid spring. Visibly and texturally it is similar to celery but with the tart pucker of a citrus fruit. It is a beautiful vegetable for both sweet and savory dishes (they are great in cupcakes at Felicia’s! *wink wink*) though I believe the most famous use would have to be any sort of strawberry-rhubarb concoction. And it’s no mystery why that combination works so well. The sugary sweetness of strawberries is perfectly balanced by the tart brightness of the rhubarb. After all, balance is everything!
Fresh spring rhubarb is pretty readily available. I see it right alongside all of the berries at Wegman’s and at many booths at the Farmer’s Market. I got my rhubarb from a roadside stand across the street from the entrance to Lower Treman. It’s four dollars for a large bunch of great lookin’ rhubarb and the stand works on an honor system with a little tin for your money! How cute!!
This recipe is my exploration into the savory side of rhubarb, classic sweet strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe to follow!!
Savory Rhubarb Galette with Goat Cheese and Fresh Thyme
For the Galette Dough:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 stick butter, very cold and cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons very cold buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, lightly minced
For the Filling:
- 4 stalks fresh rhubarb, approx 2 cups, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup good dry vermouth
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar
- pinch salt
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, lightly minced
Begin by making the pastry. In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Add the cold diced butter and fresh thyme to the bowl and cut in with a pastry blender. When the butter is around pea size, begin to add the buttermilk one tablespoon at a time stirring it in gently with a fork. When the dough is just beginning to come together but still nice and crumbly, turn out onto a floured board or counter and knead until it becomes a uniform smooth texture. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to set for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Prepare the filling while the dough is resting. Add the rhubarb, vermouth, honey, sugar and salt to a medium saucepan on a medium low flame. Bring up to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher. Give it a quick taste and make sure that the tartness of the rhubarb has been smoothed out by the honey and sugar. You may want to add a little extra if your rhubarb is super tart! Park your rhubarb puree in the freezer to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pull out your dough and roll out into a large circle on a floured cutting board. Mine was about 1/4 of an inch think and probably close to 10 inches across. When you have your dough circle, transfer onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Pour the cooled puree into the center and spread out into an even layer. I found a wonderfully smooth and creamy goat cheese whose rind had been soaked in red wine at Wegman’s which is what I used for this galette but any good Chevre will do. Crumble the goat cheese over the puree and then sprinkle the fresh thyme over everything. Gently fold the sides of the pastry up over the puree so that it covers a good portion of the filling but allows a nice portion in the center to remain exposed. Crack fresh black pepper over the top of the whole thing.
Bake in the 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes or just until the pastry is nice and golden brown all over and the goat cheese has melted and gotten bubbly and golden brown! I enjoyed a slice with a big pile of balsamic dressed greens with dried cranberries!
Share with people you love and enjoy! Cheers!