Feb 15 2011

Cooking it Fresh: Carrots

On Thursday, I spent 45 minutes searching for a carrot recipe. About 40 minutes into the search I realized that nothing I found was going to please me. I was in that kind of mood and getting crankier by the second. It didn't help that I was hunting for our dinner recipe around lunch time and I was already starving.

After flipping through a sizable number of our cookbooks and endlessly clicking around on Bon Appetit and Martha Stewart and Real Simple, I had found carrot risotto, carrot pancakes, carrot bread, carrot pudding, carrot pasta, carrot casseroles…but ultimately nothing that I wanted to make that night. We cooked a squash risotto a few days ago, I've been baking so much that my Kitchen Aid needs a break, and I didn't want a casserole or soup.

Maybe it was the desire to get out of the apartment to get lunch but inspiration suddenly hit me. A little bit over a year ago, I made a butternut squash galette that has become monumental in my mind. It was my first galette and the results rendered me speechless. Maybe my low expectations led to great rewards? Whatever it was, I've become hooked on making galettes whenever I can. However, I'm reluctant to make the butternut squash galette again, mainly because I want to preserve the memory of that perfect taste. There's the possibility that the galette could actually come out better if I made it again, but I couldn't replicate that feeling of pure surprise and taste-bud happiness, and I don't want to bother.

But back to the inspiration! Here's how simple my thought process was: butternut squash = an orange vegetable; carrots = an orange vegetable.

The only change I made to this recipe, besides the main ingredient, was to reduce the roasting time of the carrots and to increase the baking time of the entire galette for the extra crispy texture. The result was a savory pie that Justin and I split down the middle and happily ate.

Roasted Carrot and Caramelized Onion Galette

Inspiration from THIS recipe

Serves 2-4 (depending on if it's an appetizer or entree)

For the pastry:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into


¼ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¼ cup ice water

For the filling:

1 1/2 lbs of carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch of sugar

¼ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

¾ cup fontina cheese (about 2½ ounces), grated or cut into small bits. *You can also choose a similar tasting cheese. We went with Consider Bardwell's Pawlett

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves


Make pastry:

a) In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour.

b) Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

c) Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well.

d) With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough.

e) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Prepare carrots:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel carrots and slice into half inch moons. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on a sheet for 20 minutes or until pieces are tender--keep an eye on the carrots as every oven is different. Set aside to cool slightly.

Caramelize onions:

While carrots are roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne.

Assemble galette:

a) Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix carrots, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

b) On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread carrots, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the carrot, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

Bake galette:

Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot or warm. Enjoy!