Nettle and Courgette Flower Galette

DOUGH AHEAD ALERT!

According to the title of this post, we’ve moved over to the swampy side. Don’t worry, there’s goat’s cheese as well, we’re just visiting.

And I’ll tell ya what, it’s chuffin’ excellent. Declared a triumph at the table – thanking gods – given the chef credentials of our friend and that I’d never cooked nettles before.

Add potential stinging horrors to the usual dread that the food will taste meh, and not at all like the palette delighting wonder going on in my head, and you’ve got one wreck of a cook serving up.

Galettes are, however, so easy to make and such a guaranteed show stopper (dinner waz papped) that I could be quietly confident I wouldn’t completely embarrass myself.

Always favoured a courgette flower, and we’ve been a tad obsessed with galettes since we made that Swiss chard and mushroom one a few months back. Now we’re a teensy bit obsessed with nettles too. We’d read they tasted like spinach and they do, but they’ve got this whole other thing going on that I can’t quite yet pin down. Not stingy…. feisty.

Let’s galette. Seasonally.

1 hr | serves 8-10 | easy 

Ingredients

1 cup plain flour

1 cup wholemeal flour

1 tsp sea salt

150g butter

1/4 cup ice water

1 tbsp cider vinegar

filling:

200g goat’s cheese

1 bag nettle tips

5-6 courgette flowers

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

5 sprigs or so oregano

1 egg, beaten

parmesan

Method 

Get yeself a large bowl and mix the two flours and salt together, then rub the butter in with your fingers, leaving a few little lumps of butter. This dough doesn’t like to be overworked at any point.

Drizzle in the vinegar, and the water in two lots. Mix together with a fork, adding a little more ice water if needed, until a shaggy dough comes together. Turn out on to a lightly floured board and gently knead til there are no dry spots. Pat into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 2 hrs.

At 1hr 30 or there abouts, get the oven up to 200°C, get some oil and a little butter in a sauté pan and throw the nettles tips in – being ruddy careful not to touch them unless you’re wearing marigolds. Wilt them down, this will take longer than spinach, about 5mins, then add the garlic, season well, give it a whirl around the pan and take off the heat.

Get yer dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured piece of greaseproof paper roll it out to a 14″ circle that’s about the thickness of a 20p. Slide a flat baking tray under the paper and dough.

Tear up the goats cheese and chuck it over the dough leaving a 2-3cm rim from the edges, holding a little bit back for the top.

Layer up with the nettles and then the courgettes flowers torn lengthways into 3 or 4 depending on how big they are, reserving about 3 strands for a garnish. Throw on the rest of the cheese, most of the oregano leaves, give it a good grind of pepper and a little more salt and fold the edges inwards using the paper to help if needed.

Brush the pastry with beaten egg, grate some parmesan over the filling, and into the oven on an upturned baking sheet for 35-40mins til the crust is cooked through and golden brown on top. Garnish with the courgette flowers and oregano you held back and eat, soon as.

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To go with, we blanched these yellow wax, and purple runner beans we got from the market, and plunged them into iced water.

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Rustled up a ravigote sauce, tossed them in it and served. Ravigote sauce: dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, mix together with s&p, add olive oil, chopped parsley and tarragon, chopped shallot and a small handful of chopped capers, mix well.

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We concocted this, inspired by the seasonal produce found at Borough market. Local, seasonal, damn fine chow. Grown by Chegworth Valley organic farm in Kent, arranged back at the big potatoes pad.

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