Bits and Pieces and An Asparagus Galette
by Chef Deb Traylor
Anyone who has ever tried their hand at cooking a meal has been faced with the dilemma of what can be done with the little bits and pieces left from a recipe. Many of us can’t bear to waste food, even if it’s just small pieces. In fact, I place a dollar value on every little scrap we throw away and I agonize over pieces that have stayed too long in the fridge.
Even when given a “money is no object” budget for food by a few of my clients, I earnestly feel it’s not my money to waste. My connection to food is such, I think about the person who grows or raises it, markets it, and sells it, and I can’t imagine throwing their efforts (and mine) into the garbage.
You can credit a humble childhood or classic French training, but I get a fair amount of satisfaction knowing I can think of a dozen ways we can use up random items from the fridge and pantry. This may sound crazy, but EACH time I open a refrigerator (a clients or my own) I quickly play the “if I was stranded, how many things can I make from what I see now?” game. It’s reminds me of the TV show “Chopped”, and I swear when I look into someone’s fridge I am not judging on how clean or organized it is, I am calculating how long we can survive on its contents!
Today’s recipe is what I love to refer to as a “suggestion,” meaning there are no hard and fast rules. I want you to be creative. We provide the foundation, form a simple crust, and you rummage through your fridge to make something delicious. I’ll provide the basic instructions for the galette you see in the photos. I’ll also suggest other ideas with items I traditionally see in other people’s refrigerators.
There are a few things:
1. Galette is a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat, round or freeform crust pastry, buckwheat crepe, or in our case a free-form pie.
2. The shape of your galette is unimportant. I made a rectangle because I like the shape & I was showing off ;)
3. If you don’t have asparagus, substitute roasted beets, sweet potato, carrots or mushrooms.
4. You can substitute any cheese you have on hand, blue cheese, brie, fontina, goat, etc.
5. We baked our egg but you can add a poached egg or top with very, very soft scrambled egg as well.
6. Lastly, but most importantly...this little galette needs a simple salad of greens with a slightly acidic finish to really round out the flavors. If you don’t have greens, very thinly sliced celery and/or radish (use the celery leaves, and radish greens too!) will work beautifully.
Asparagus Galette with Egg and Fresh Greens
Makes 2-4 servings
- 1/2 recipe Pate Brisée, or pie dough, chilled. For instance the crust recipe for Spring Chicken Pot Pie without the herbs
- 1/4 lb. asparagus, cleaned, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise (or cut into small 1/4-inch rounds/coins)
- 2-4 oz. local soft goat cheese (or feta, blue cheese or Parmesan)
- 1-2 Tbsp. fruity extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg beaten, for egg wash
- kosher salt
- 2-4 eggs
- 2 slices of Proscuitto Di Parma, cut into large pieces or a few slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
- 2 cups pea tendrils, microgreens or spring mix
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide pie dough into 2 to 4 pieces and roll each piece out on a lightly floured counter. If you want to do a custom shape – rectangle or square – now is the time to cut and shape the dough. If making a square or rectangle, turn in the edges about ¼” to ½ “ to form a crust all around the border of each galette. For a circle, you can roll out the dough, add the filling and form the crust last. Chill shaped dough for 30 minutes.
Place chilled rolled dough on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Arrange asparagus pieces decoratively on dough. Sprinkle with goat cheese, drizzle a few nice streams of olive oil and lightly salt.
Lightly brush edges of galette with egg wash and bake until crust turns a light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Once edges turn light brown, quickly remove sheet pan from oven and break an egg onto the center of each galette. Return pan to the oven and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until the whites of the egg become opaque. Remove from the oven and place each tart on individual plates. In a small bowl, lightly toss pea tendrils (or salad greens) with olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: Pile a portion of salad on top of each egg, and add a few pieces of prosciutto with a few grinds of fresh pepper. Serve immediately.
More ideas to use up those bits and pieces:
- Sweet potato, red onion & blue cheese
- Roasted corn, green chile & goat cheese
- Sliced tomato, tarragon & buratta
- Butternut squash, fresh sage & fontina
- Potato, thyme & a splash of cream
- Artichoke hearts, pesto & mozzarella
- Tapenade & ricotta
- Cumin roasted carrots, lebneh & za'atar
- Broccoli rabe, ricotta & Parmesan, red pepper flakes
- Sauteed mushrooms & green onions w/Cambozola