Maybe it’s because I spend so much time feeding men, but I have never tried the Meatless Monday thing let alone thought of vegetarianism.
Do not get me wrong, I love vegetables. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to eat a meal without them and I have never turned back from the habit. But it is a rare dinner that I forgo meat, unless it is my mother’s Italian Giambotta stew, this kale salad or this Indonesian vegetable fest. I always try to be conscious while buying my proteins, and I have a very healthy diet but still, I feel like it is remiss of me not to explore more vegetarian or vegan options.
So, I spent a while this weekend cruising my favourite vegetarian and vegan food blogs, like First Mess, Naturally Ella and My New Roots, in order to understand the methodology behind their lifestyles and to inspire myself. There are many reasons to consider eating more vegetable based meals – environmentalism, health, politics – but at the end of the day it can be as simple as this: vegetables can be pretty freaking delicious.
After tinkering around for some time, I finally came up with this roasted vegetable galette with whole wheat flax crust. It is incredibly filling with the addition of meaty eggplant and zucchini, salty from the caper marinated vegetables and creamy from the goat cheese. It is something I can keep in the fridge for a few days as a quick and easy meal but it’s rustic beauty also makes it ideal for serving at lunch with a simple green salad.
- 3 medium zucchini, diced
- 2 red onions, quartered
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed
- 3 carrots, peeled and halved
- 3 parsnips, peeled and halved
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 large yam or sweet potato
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon capers
- ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ⅓ cup ice water
- To make the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the prepared vegetables in avocado or olive oil, salt and pepper in a large baking dish. Add the thyme and rosemary then bake the vegetables in the oven for 45 minutes. If your oven heats unevenly, rotate the dish or stir every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure even baking. Take it out of the oven and transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, discarding the thyme and rosemary. You should have approximately 3-4 cups worth of roasted veggies.
- For the yam, prick it all over with a knife or fork and bake in the oven on a separate vessel with the other vegetables, for 40 minutes until it is soft all the way through. Leave to cool.
- Prepare the marinade by combining the avocado oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and capers together. Pour over the vegetables and toss until evenly coated. Leave to marinate while you make the pastry crust.
- To make the whole wheat flax pastry: Blend the flours, flax, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together in a food processor. Add the cubed butter and pulse for 30 seconds until the butter is reduced to small lumps. Next, add the ice water and mix until just combined. The mixture should look sandy. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface but do not flour the counter. Knead the dough, pulling out and over firmly with the heel of your hand until it comes together, which may take a few minutes of vigorously pushing and squeezing as the dough is naturally dry. Do not over work the dough; ensure there are still pearl sized bits of butter throughout. Chill covered in plastic wrap in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- When the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Transfer the chilled dough to a clean surface and roll out to approximately 12 inches. Either lay it on a baking sheet or, as I prefer to do, lay it over a springform pan, allowing the dough to drape over sides. Spread the inside of the baked yam over the bottom of the pastry. Drain the roasted vegetables of the remaining marinade and add to the top galette. Evenly crumble goat cheese over the interior. Carefully fold the draped edges of the pastry over the top of the vegetable filling. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown.
- Leave the galette to cool in the springform for at least 15 minutes before releasing the pan. Use a knife to gently release the edges if needed.