Little rustic spelt galettes, packed full of greens and herby almond ricotta. An A plus addition to any spring or summer picnic basket. Working with pastry dough seems complicated, but this recipe breaks it down so it as easy as can be! It is well worth the time spent, we promise.
Swiss Chard and Almond Ricotta Spelt Galettes [Vegan]
For the Almond Ricotta:
- 1 cup blanched sliced almonds, soaked for at least 2 hours in cold water
- 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, soaked for at least 2 hours in cold water
- 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon water (more as needed to achieve a ricotta-like texture)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 5-6 grinds of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
For the Dough:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup whole spelt flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
- 1/4 teaspoon. sea salt
- 1 stick vegan butter, cut into chunks and chilled in the freezer until firm
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup ice water
For the Filling:
- A few tablespoon. olive oil
- 3 small-medium leeks, dark green parts removed, white and light green parts washed and thinly sliced
- A bunch of swiss chard, about 15 stalks, stems and leaves sliced into 1 cm pieces (keep stems separate from leaves)
- A small bunch of kale, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- About 20 garlic shoots, light-medium green parts sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced chives
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper chili flakes (or any chili flakes you like)
- Zest and the juice of 1/2 lemon
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
For the Topping:
- A spoonful or two of coconut yogurt mixed with a little water to thin
- Olive oil
- Flaky sea salt
- Fresh chives and chive flowers if you have them
To Make the Almond Ricotta:
- Drain the soaked nuts and give them a good rinse under cold water. Then add them to a a blender (preferably high-speed) along with all of the other almond ricotta ingredients except the chives.
- Blend on high speed until the mixture is creamy but not completely smooth, it should still be little grainy looking and 'ricotta-like' in texture. Stop and scrape the sides of the blender down as needed and add a little more water if you need it to help the nuts blend and become creamy. Once smooth and 'ricotta-like,' remove the almond ricotta from the blender and place in a container, fold in the finely chopped chives. Refrigerate covered until needed.
To Make the Dough:
- Whisk together the flours and salt in a bowl until combined. Sprinkle the cold butter chunks over the flour and cut in with a pastry blender or knife until the mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs, with the largest chunks of butter no bigger than a small pea. Put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes if necessary to make sure the butter is still cold.
- In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, and ice water. Slowly pour this over the flour mix while cutting it in with a knife. Continue to gently cut the liquid into the flour mix until everything is incorporated and large clumps form. It's okay if there are some dry floury bits that aren't incorporated at this point, you want to keep the dough as dry as you can for ultimate flakiness. However if it looks like there are a lot of dry unincorporated bits, just add a teaspoon. or so of ice water and cut in until there are less floury bits.
- Pour the contents of the dough into a large square of cling wrap, use the cling wrap to pat everything together into a loose ball, it may still be a little dry in parts but that's ok, it will all work out after a rest in the . Try to work quickly and don't handle the dough too much. Place in the (covered in the cling wrap), to chill for an hour or so. Sometimes I let it hang out in the freezer for the last 10 minutes to make sure it's super cold before rolling.
To Make the Filling:
- Cook the leeks in a frying pan over low-medium heat in a generous glug of olive oil (3 tablespoons or so) until soft and sweet, about 5–10 minutes, stirring often so that the leeks do not brown or burn. Add the swiss chard stems to to the pan along with the minced garlic cloves, 1/2 of the garlic shoots, and a pinch of sea salt. Allow to cook over a medium heat, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped kale leaves and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add the chard leaves in 2–3 separate batches, tossing them through and allowing them to cook and wilt after each addition. Continue cooking until everything is soft and wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Stir through the remaining garlic shoots, chives, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, aleppo pepper, lemon zest, and juice to the greens along with 2 tablespoons of the almond ricotta, a good grind of pepper, and salt to taste. Allow the filling to chill in the before assembling the galettes (you want the filling to be completely cool so that the dough doesn't become soggy).
- Preheat the oven to 430°F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and divide into 6 equal pieces with a pastry cutter or sharp knife. Roll the pieces gently into balls (try to handle the dough as little as you can though, as the warmth in your hands will melt the butter).
- Working with one ball at a time (keep the rest in the refrigerator/freezer as you work), roll the dough into a a rough 20 cm circle on a floured surface. I like to place a piece of parchment paper on the top of the dough when rolling to make sure that the rolling pin doesn't stick to it. The dough should be pretty thin but not so thin that it would tear easily when picked up. Place on a piece of parchment paper and keep in the refrigerator/freezer while you complete the same process with the other balls of dough.
- Once all the dough is rolled it, remove one round from the refrigerator/freezer and place on the lined baking tray. Top with 3 tablespoons of the almond ricotta, spreading it evenly over the center of the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edge. Sit a generous handful (about 1/2 cup) of the chilled swiss chard filling on top of the ricotta.
- Crimp the edges of the galette pastry around the filling, patching up any cracks with your fingers. Repeat the process as quickly as you can with the remaining dough, then chill the whole baking tray with the 6 filled galettes in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the freezer and brush the galette dough with a little of the coconut yogurt mix. Drizzle everything with olive oil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the oven temp to 400°F and bake for another 20 –30 minutes, turning the tray half way through, until light golden brown and beautiful.
- Pull the tray from the oven and move the galettes to a cooling rack. Serve hot, warm (my favorite), or at room temperature with a little drizzle of quality olive oil, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, some fresh chives, and perhaps a little crunchy, vinegary salad alongside. This is seriously good with a glass of crisp white wine if you are in the mood for it! These little galettes are best eaten on the day of baking.