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#8 : Leek-Goat Cheese Galette

("I want pie but I'm feeling lazy.")

Among many other things, I am a hoarder of library books. They know me all too well at the circulation desk of the Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport as I generally have at least 40 (maximum allowed is 50) items (mostly books, but also a few CDs as well as movies on DVD) checked out at one time, with another 25 items (the maximum - believe me, as I've tried to request more than that) on request from libraries throughout the county. Many of these books that I borrow and renew until I can renew them no longer are, of course, cookbooks, with many of them being baking books. Pie books, not surprisingly, now make up a large percentage of my library checkouts since I've started the blog. (FYI the maximum number of renewals is 6, and yes, I have learned this by experience many times over.)

Is it worth buying?

Some of the library cookbooks have gone back right away (money saved by not buying that one!) while others have been worth perusing with maybe one recipe noted or copied before the books get returned. A few cookbooks have so many recipes we want to try that I usually end up buying the book (if at all possible from the independent bookstore downtown, Burton's Books - I figure this local business needs my money more than does Jeff Bezos.) So the test of "Should we buy yet another cookbook?" is how many recipes in it sound appealing.

The latest recipe comes from the The Smitten Kitchen Keepers cookbook. Jeff pulled it off of my "library cookbook stack" and started looking through it, saying, "Oh yeah - we're going to make this recipe...this one, too...and that one...and how about this one?" (We may end up buying the book.) A leek and goat cheese galette grabbed our attention, especially as I'd been looking at a leek and goat cheese quiche for a simple dinner, and this sounded even easier with just leeks and goat cheese; no custard for the quiche filling required.

A galette, to me, has always cried out, "Hey, lazybones, you want some pie without really having to fuss too much?" It consists of one crust rolled into a circle. On top of that you put the filling and then fold up the edges of the dough - no crimping the dough or much fussing required. First step was roasting the leeks in the oven on top of some olive oil, lemon zest and garlic.

While the leeks cool slightly, simply roll out the pie crust into a large circle and brush lightly with some dijon mustard, leaving a border of 2 inches or so all around.

Then it's just a matter of topping the mustard with cheese and leeks. The recipe calls for brie, but Jeff is not a fan, and we both love goat cheese. If you're likewise a fan of goat cheese - I know some people are not - use Laura Chenel if you can possibly find it. It's from Sonoma County, CA, and is our absolute favorite. If you can't find it, use any other goat cheese here or something else - brie, feta, etc. - if you're not fond of goat cheese.

The "hard part" is now over. Simply roll up the edges of the galette by folding it over itself in pleats all the way around. An egg wash helps the edges brown and sticks the folds together to prevent the filling leaking out. Bake on a sheet of parchment in a 400 degree oven for a half hour, and then dinner (or breakfast, brunch, or lunch) is ready. Delicious with a glass of red wine, this tart makes a perfect vegetarian dinner for those meatless-Mondays.

At one point, Jeff sort of "took over" (as he often does) and started layering the leeks in the crust. I asked if that counted as one of my 60 pies if he was doing the work! He let me assist with the perfect layering of the leeks, so it now counts.

The Verdict: Star Baker or Leaving the Tent?

This galette is a must if you like leeks. It is simple and rustic and makes a terrific lunch the next day...if there is any left over. Jeff gave this a Very Good as my "thin coating" of dijon was maybe a little too thick, which tended to slightly overwhelm the other flavors, and a few of my folded pleats of crust were also a little too thick so that they were not baked to the exact crispiness as the rest of the crust, which was perfect. A little picky, maybe, but there is always room for improvement! There will be a "next time." This would definitely be a move on to the next round for me.

(As I was writing this, Jeff was making another recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, so my blog efforts were rewarded with pea, feta and mint fritters, which were fantastic.)

Any leek fans interested in making this can find the recipe here.

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