Grape, Leek, Burrata, & Goat Cheese Galette

Grape, Leek, Burrata, & Goat Cheese Galette

A creative, savory way to enjoy your most buttery rustic tarts, with the Roman flavor of black grapes, leeks sauteed in white wine, a double burst of creamy burrata and goat cheese, and fresh oregano and thyme.

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For a variation including Peach, Feta, Pea, Pickled Red Onion, and Mint, see variation in the recipe below!

Grapes, Grains, and Olives

The ancient Roman triad of flavors was comprised of grapes, grains, and olives…among others. It was the upper classes who most enjoyed a grape tart back in the way back day, especially a Falernian grape, or so I learned from my favorite television series before series were SERIES: Rome, and one of my favorite Roman women, Atia of the Julii:

But I digress. Atia would have eaten plenty a grape tart, along with Stuffed Door Mouse, her Falernian wine, and–oh, there I go again. You see, I am obsessed not only with the show Rome, but with Ancient Rome itself, ever since I was little.

Recently, I got a chance to interview Mary Beard, author of SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome when pining for that very last writing degree at The New School. The interview is here, but, more importantly, her mammoth book goes into not only the political and provincial history of ancient Roman society, but also their day to day habits: drinking, eating, partying, and the like. It’s well worth the read.

Modern Grape

It was the voice of these ancient Romans, rich and poor, that whispered to me on this far too hot summer day to make a grape tart, but savory. I had already played with savory tarts containing fruit as their centerpiece in my Pear Prosciutto Tart, and I am already in the works for one with cherry, and one with apple and potato for the fall.

Today, I knew I wanted the juicy black grape drizzled in olive oil to sit atop a buttery pate brisee, and nestle into cushions of cheese. To stay Roman, or at least Italian, I wanted burrata. But something else would be needed to float over the crust upon a first layer, so goat cheese also stepped in.

I didn’t stop there. Leeks spoke to me as well, and, lucky me, according to the Roman Cookery of Apicius, a 1st century A.D. Roman cookbook, there is not one, but 17 recipes with leeks. By the way, a great place to start if you have a similar interest in learning about food and ancient Rome is Crystal King’s page, The Food of Ancient Rome.

I happen to have a flourishing herb garden on our little balcony, and, while basil seemed obvious, I went with the less obvious flavors of fresh oregano and thyme. They paired lovely and imparted just the perfect flavor into the grapes, leeks, and their surrounding cheeses.

This tart is Roman. It is made by a Croatian American whose Dalmatian coast Croatian homeland is often more Roman than anything else. This Grape, Leek, Burrata & Goat Cheese Tart is simple, and you can and should enjoy its savory fruits any day this summer, fall, or any other season you find yourself hungry! Cheers to the gods, and to you, wherever you find them.

Tips & Tricks

  • Your pate brisee is my go to, here from the James Beard Foundation. It can come together in a food processor or by hand and needs only 30 minutes in the refrigerator or freezer to be ready to roll. The dough is without sugar, which works best for this savory tart. It also rolls out so easily, as you can see. It even made a lovely photo in dough form.
Dough, adored with grapes and oregano flowers
  • The filling only requires one cooking process: the leeks. They need to be cleaned out well by slicing them down the middle and running them under cold water until any loose dirt grains come away. Leeks love to hide dirt in their many layers. Towel them dry and then they are ready to use. They are simply sauteed in olive oil and salt, and, after they soften, I like to hit them with a higher heat and some white wine to bring out the best flavor. Once that reduces, you can salt and pepper them a little more and put them aside until it’s tart time.
  • Assembly is really everything here. You can get creative visually or think about the way you’d like to taste the flavors. I love doing these tarts in a rustic style. I tried my pear tart in a baking sheet shape, but I prefer this round galette / crostata style with folded over edges.
  • Once rolled out, I drizzle some olive oil onto the dough, which is already on parchment paper and safely on its baking sheet. I mixed the goat cheese with egg, salt and a few red pepper flakes to loosen it up, and spread it evenly over the center, leaving room on the edges for the folding of the dough.
  • On the goat cheese, I spread the cooked leeks, which I have drained on paper towels to rid of the olive oil excess so it does not make the tart soggy. I don’t blind bake this tart, so that is quite important to do.
  • Now, the burrata. I wanted to mimic the scoop of ice cream that typically sits on top of many a sweet fruit crostata, so I used bigger rounds of burrata. I placed one slightly off center and arranged bits of the other one, which I broke into pieces, around it. Then I arranged my black grapes and made sure they had plenty of olive oil too. The herbs I did not even chop, as mine are small and they add to the Roman rustic look. A little more salt (be careful since you have two kinds of cheese) and pepper and you are good to go.
  • I brushed the outer edges of the galette with more olive oil and gently folded them in, pressing them into each other to stay, but making sure to allow for some height and air. I brushed the tops of the folded edges with butter, since I can’t Quite live in the ancient world without it.
  • The galette bakes in a 375 degree oven for anywhere from 25-35 minutes. The burrata might burst a bit (mine did), but all the more creatively appears your end result. Make sure the galette edges are nice and golden brown; this is the most important part of the baking.
  • The end result needs to sit for at least 10-15 minutes so the cheeses can set.

The grapes taste like themselves, but are unavoidably savory and out of this world as they mingle with the buttery dough, the salt and olive oil, the simplest of ingredients made into something beautiful. Another world indeed–the Roman world come home to your hearth, and in under 90 minutes (under an hour if you pre-prep your dough!). Come home to Rome before it was Roma and enjoy this Grape, Leek, Burrata & Goat Cheese Tart / Galette.

Grape, Leek, Burrata and Goat Cheese Galette

Mimi
A creative, savory way to enjoy your most buttery rustic tarts/galettes, with the Roman flavor of black grapes, leeks sauteed in white wine, a double burst of creamy burrata and goat cheese, and fresh oregano and thyme.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Dough Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, French, Italian, Roman
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

For the Pate Brisee from the James Beard Foundation

  • 1⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg, mixed with 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten

For the Filling

  • Approx. 2 cups black grapes, or any preferred grape as long as they are without seeds.
  • 2 leeks, fully cleaned and sliced into rounds/half rounds
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 8 oz package of burrata, in two larger rounds or many mini rounds
  • 4 oz package of goat cheese
  • 1 egg, mixed with goat cheese
  • red pepper flakes, mixed with goat cheese
  • olive oil for leeks and for dressing the galette
  • handful of fresh oregano
  • handful of fresh thyme
  • Additional softened butter for brushing galette edges
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Pate Brisee from James Beard Foundation

  • Add the flour, salt, butter, and egg/lemon juice mixture into a food processor. If doing by hand, add to a bowl. Pulse/mix until the dough adheres to itself and forms a ball. I add additional 1-3 tablespoons of ice water if the dough feels too dry. It took closer to a minute for me, but make sure to not over mix.
  • Remove the dough and knead for a moment by hand, forming it into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate–I sometimes freeze–for 30 minutes or more, while you prepare you leeks and filling.
  • Once the dough is ready, leave it out for a few minutes and flour a work surface, along with your rolling pin. Roll the dough out to a ½ inch thickness and into a rough, round shape. It is rustic, it does not have to be a perfect circle. Proceed below to assemble.

For the Leeks

  • Once the leeks are cleaned and dried, add them to a medium saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add a little sprinkle of salt and saute until the leeks soften, about 5-6 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Allow the wine to bubble and reduce, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool while you deal with the dough. Drain the leeks on paper towels, so the excess oil is cleared away.

For the Goat Cheese

  • Mix the goat cheese with one egg and some salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and red pepper flake, to taste. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

To Assemble

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Once your dough is rolled out, transfer it to some parchment paper and place onto a baking sheet before assembling the filling.
  • Brush olive oil over the top of the dough, making sure to include the outer edges. Spread your goat cheese mixture over the dough first, leaving the outer edges free from filling, since we will be folding them over.
  • On the goat cheese, spread the leek mixture evenly over the goat cheese. On top, place either the large burrata round near the center, and sprinkle the parts of the second burrata rounds around it, or place mini burrata rounds as you like.
  • Add your grapes plentifully over your galette. Make sure to guarantee grapes in every bite. Sprinkle the oregano and thyme over the top, followed by more olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Fold in the edges of the galette evenly over each other around the whole tart. Brush them with some softened butter.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the edges are nice and golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Cheers to all the gods and grapes!
  • *** For the Peach Tart variation, spread 1 to 1.5 cups feta whipped with cream cheese on top of the galette, add sliced peaches, cooked peas, pickled red onions (there are many great recipes for a quick pickling out there), and some sprigs of mint, along with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in the same 375 degree oven for at least 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Keyword burrata, crostata, fresh fruit, galette, goat cheese, grapes, oregano, pate brisee, savory, tart, thyme



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