Even though it’s September, and everyone else seems to be settling into fall, it’s still hot in our long Southern California summers. We’re nowhere near ready to plant fall crops, and tomatoes and eggplants are still coming out of our ears. I say this a little tongue in cheek. I love that we have a long growing season, but I’m a girl who loves seasons, and we don’t have them really. I’m a bit jealous of people who’s apples are ripening and who have torn out their warm season crops and are planting cool weather vegetables. I mean, it’s going to be 103 degrees here this weekend. Even so, I’m still enjoying my fresh off the vine tomatoes and the last of the eggplant. I guess I can’t complain too much when I can still mess around with dishes like this tomato eggplant galette.
This is really simple to make, but its colorful, rustic look makes it a little bit impressive.
I have to let you in on a little cooking secret here. When I make a crust for a savory item, be it a galette, a pie, a crust, or anything similar, I make the crust savory to match. In the case of the tomato eggplant galette, I added a pinch of extra salt and a little bit of thyme and garlic to the crust. It enhances the flavor of the filling and also makes the crust better on its own. I am not someone who enjoys plain, boring crust. I like flavor in every layer of a dish. The crust here is a simple cornmeal crust, very similar to a pie crust, but with that extra kick of savory flavor to complement its filling.
That being said, the filling is, of course, the star of the show. Delicious ripe summer tomatoes, fresh off the vine, and thinly sliced eggplant (also fresh) is a flavor combination I’ve been really into this summer. I used to not really be into eggplant at all, but I am learning that I love it when paired with tomatoes. Seasoned with salt and pepper and mixed with gruyere cheese, this combo is an oral delight.
How to make the crust:
I like to use a food processor for the crust. It comes together quickly and takes less muscle from me. I also always use ice water. The cool temperature of the water helps keep the butter cold. Cold butter = flaky crust. When adding ice water, start with the smallest measurement, then add more only a tablespoon at a time and only as needed. If the crust dough is coming together, you don’t need more. The amount of liquid you need is one of those things that can change on a day to day basis depending on the humidity in the air and a number of other factors. Don’t sweat it, just look for that smooth, not mucky, consistency, and know the amount may differ each time you do it. If you can crumple some dough in your hand and it sticks together, it’s ready.
I also refrigerate my crust before rolling it out. That means I can make this the day before if I want to. If I make it right before, I give it a chill for at least half an hour and use that time to clean up the food processor and slice the stuff for the filling.
I roll my crust out on a piece of parchment paper. Not only does that mean I don’t have to mess with flouring and cleaning up the countertop, but the whole thing can go straight into the oven on a cookie sheet this way! No trying to gently lift it onto a cookie sheet and messing the whole thing up. It kind of looks cool too.
Making the filling:
Once you roll out the crust, you’re pretty much just layering on the rest onto the crust, folding up the edges, and then baking it.
One tip- when I slice the tomatoes, I let the juiciest parts go ahead and spill out before using the tomato slices. You don’t want too much liquid making your crust soggy.
If you make this, let me know!
Also, I’m still using up tomatoes! I’d love to know what you make with tomatoes each summer. Let me know in the comments so I can give it a try!