This section of my website has been a very long time coming, and I’m really excited to be able to share some more relaxed versions of my recipes from home in comparison to my everyday work.
I also think it’s important to note that while I am a trained chef, I come from a long line of untrained cooks who love and relish cooking, as do most people. The joy of home cooking is like nothing else in life and by sharing these recipes, I hope to not only show you, but bring myself back to, my original love for what I do. Also I just want everyone to celebrate good food! When it’s good, it’s just so GOOD!
When I cook at home, it’s all about cooking with leftovers. As a food stylist, the question I get asked about my job the most is “do you get to eat the food?” and while I personally always sample everything on set (obv), there will always be uncooked ingredients left over. While that’s great, it doesn’t necessarily all go together. Lots gets frozen or experimented with in different ways, and that’s what I’d like to share with you. I’m not saying that every recipe I post here will be a mish-mash of randomness but in the interest of never letting food go to waste and cooking with a purpose, I’m really excited to share my creations with you.
So that’s where I started with this recipe. I’d had a block of shortcrust pastry in my freezer for months, and an unopened jar of onion and garlic jam at the back of my cupboard. I’d also managed to save two massive, albeit slightly bruised, heirloom tomatoes from being thrown out at my local supermarket, and so this recipe arose by a kind of fabulous coincidence. The last thing I had was time (and also some actual thyme) due to the long weekend celebrating Islamic New Year in Dubai, so I put my phone in the other room and went about rolling out my pastry (with an olive oil bottle, incase you were wondering).
Here’s to long, lazy weekend cooks, huh?
Well, I say long, but I did take a fair few shortcuts with this galette. I want you to know that you should feel free to A. make the pastry for this recipe yourself and B. make the onion jam yourself too, but hey, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for saving you an hour or so.
Once I’d rolled the pastry out fairly thinly, I spread it with the onion jam, topped that with goat’s cheese, and then artfully layered over my rescued heirlooms, along with a few baby plum tomatoes. I had laid the tomatoes on a cooling rack, salted them and let them stand before this, to remove the moisture. That meant when I eventually tucked them into the pastry, sprinkled with thyme and placed the galette into a piping hot oven, they roasted without becoming overly juicy, allowing the goats cheese to bubble up and brown slightly and the pastry to turn crisp. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, honestly.
The full recipe is below.
Approximately 400g heirloom tomatoes (I used about 300g heirlooms and 100g leftover baby plum tomatoes- a mix of sizes, shapes and colours makes for a beautiful galete)
6-8tsp fine salt
250g shortcrust pastry
3 tbsp onion and garlic chutney (I used Waitrose Essentials)
100g goat’s cheese, sliced into rounds
few sprigs of fresh thyme
Place a cooling rack over a baking tray, or alternatively in the sink.
Slice the larger tomatoes into 1/2 cm thick slices, and halve the cherry tomatoes. I like to do this in a mix of both length and width ways. Lay the slices on the prepared cooling rack. Sprinkle with half of the fine salt. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Blot the tomatoes with kitchen paper, then turn and repeat on the other side.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C or 180°C fan and allow the pastry to come to room temperature.
Place the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into 25cm circle (don’t worry about shape too much. I really wasn’t going for perfection here, remember it’s a rustic masterpiece). Peel back the top sheet of parchment. Pick up the edges of the baking parchment and place onto a baking sheet.
Spread the onion chutney over the pastry, leaving a 5cm or so border around the edge, to be folded later. Top the chutney with goat’s cheese, then cover with the now salted tomatoes.
Fold the edges of pastry over the filling, framing the tomatoes in the centre. Whisk the egg in a small bowl with a little fine salt to break down the proteins, and brush over the pastry. Season the whole galette with flaked salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and sprinkle over a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
Place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the crust becomes golden brown and crisp, and the goat’s cheese is bubbling. Sprinkle over a little extra thyme is desired. Serve right away, although saying that, this makes for an excellent lunch the next day with a simple salad.