One of the greatest ways I keep a connection to my travels is through cooking. In this new series, “View from My Plate,” I’ll be sharing the encounters with global food that occur both on my travels and in my kitchen.
Is there anything more French than crêpes? Maybe. They’re called galettes. And I have a savory, buckwheat galettes recipe for you!
Originating in the Bretagne (Brittany) region by the coast, these savory crêpe-like (but not crêpe!) wonders were only just introduced to me by a French friend in her home kitchen on my last visit to Paris. The term ‘galette’ is used in French cuisine to describe a flat, round cake. Generally I have found galette to refer to the buckwheat thin pancake I first ate, but more specifically these can be known as Breton galettes. The buckwheat flour gives them a nutty flavor and a heartier texture, and the beauty is…once you get the galette batter down, there are endless possibilities for fillings!
First, you’ll create the galette batter:
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (I got the best results with white whole-wheat flour.)
- Pinch or two of salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
Mix the first three ingredients together and then add the flour and salt. Mix thoroughly, whisking encouraged. Let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of two hours, preferably overnight. Coat a large, flat frying pan with a small amount of butter before adding a half cup of batter to the center of the pan. Use a ladle or simply tilt the pan until the batter is completely spread out. Remember, thinner is better. Cook for 1-2 minutes on medium heat or until the edges begin to brown. Flip the galette to the other side and cook thoroughly or begin adding your fillings.
Here are three of my favorite flavor combination discoveries so far:
The classic… Complète: ham, egg, gruyère or comté cheese
After flipping your galette once, crack an egg in the center and let it begin to cook. Slice or tear the ham into small pieces and intersperse with generous amounts of grated gruyere. When the egg is just about cooked, fold the galette around the contents and serve.
The decadent: Leek confit with chèvre (goat cheese)
(prepare ahead of time) (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Stir in salt. Cover pot; reduce heat to low. Cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Uncover and cook to evaporate excess water, 2 to 3 minutes.
You can also choose to lightly caramelize them at this point but adding a pinch of sugar and letting them brown slightly before removing from the heat. Add goat cheese to galette in pan, sprinkling leek confit on top. Fold and serve!
The slightly sweet: Toasted hazelnuts, honey, and ricotta
Toast a handful of hazelnuts (substitute walnuts or pine nuts to switch it up!) in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes. Spread ricotta across galette in pan, sprinkle nuts on top and drizzle with honey. Fold and serve! It took several times for me to get the galette prep and execution just right. Once you’ve got it down, it becomes a fun and easy way to play with a tasty meal and connect with French culture. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!