Goat Cheese and Leek Galette with Strawberry Salad

September 22nd, 2009

I think I have discovered the aroma that will have everyone stopping in their tracks and exclaiming ” Oh my, what is that cooking ?”. That was just my reaction when my Daughter-In-Law, Kristen cooked dinner for us last week. The aroma in question was caused by leeks sweating in white wine and butter. It actually topped my all time favorite scent of apple pie with cinnamon baking in the oven. She was making us a simple meal of goat cheese and leek galette with a strawberry poppy seed salad. It took her only one half hour to put together, but the anticipation created by the homey smells in the kitchen made it one of the most delicious meals I have eaten in a while.

I made the galette again last night. It was just as I remembered it. The original recipe came from Epicurious. Kristen and I both made changes to the recipe. Instead of flavoring it with marjoram, I used dried basil and thyme. I substitued the unflavored goat cheese with a tomato and basil goat cheese. Kristen and I both used the Pillsbury thin pizza crust.

The salad that Kristen put together was colorful and full of “good for you” tasty ingredients. The strawberries, avocado and baby spinach were accented with green onions, cashews and a good bottled poppy seed dressing. Kristen is a busy working Mother and these are the kinds of meals she cooks on a regular basis. I would say that she is on the right track. I will have her share more of her meal ideas in the future.
GOAT CHEESE AND LEEK GALETTE (adapted from Epicurious )
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 Tbls butter
2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 11oz. tube refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese flavored with tomato and basil, crumbled
1 Tbls butter melted and mixed with reserved egg ( season this with salt and pepper)
Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Heat wine and butter in heavy medium skillet over medium low heat until butter melts. Add leeks. Cover; cook until leeks are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Mix in herbs. Reserve 2 tsp. egg; stir remaining egg into leek mixture. Meanwhile, unroll pizza dough on lightly oiled baking sheet. Stretch or pull dough to 13″ x 10″ rectangle. Spread leek mixture over dough. Sprinkle cheese and pepper over filling. Fold 1-inch border in over filling. Brush folded edge with reserved 2 tsp. egg and butter mixture.
Bake galette until crust is golden brown, about 14 minutes.
Baby Spinach
Fresh strawberries (quarted)
Fresh Avocado (large chop)
Chopped green onion
Old Cape Cod Poppy Seed Dressing
Layer all the ingredients from the bottom to the top in a shallow bowl. Toss with the poppyseed dressing and serve.

White Pizzas with Arugula for Barefoot Thursday

August 27th, 2009

This was a very easy recipe in spite of the length of the directions. Do not be put off by them. Andrea of Nummy Kitchen has chosen another brilliant recipe from Ina Garten, our Barefoot Contessa guru. The Barefoot Bloggers meet online on the second and fourth Thursday of the month to cook one of Ina’s recipes.
There are so many things I like about this recipe. The yeast dough is easy to make and does not take hours. There is a wonderful garlic oil, infused with thyme and red pepper flakes that would also be good in vinaigrettes or drizzled on vegetables. The pizza is healthy with the salad right on top of it and it lends itself to so many variations. How about adding thinly sliced tomatoes and piling on a Caesar salad instead of the arugula or adding olives and feta and topping with a Greek salad. The recipe makes six 8 inch pizzas, but can easily be halved for just a few. Thanks Andrea for another great recipe.
For the dough
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
Good olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the topping
3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
11 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled
For the vinaigrette
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces baby arugula
1 lemon, sliced
Mix the dough.
Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
Knead by hand.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.
Let it rise.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Make garlic oil.
Place 1/2 cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)
Portion the dough.
Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Stretch the dough.
Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)
Top the dough.
Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.
Make the vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Add the greens.
When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.
TIP Make sure the bowl is warm before you put the water and yeast in; the water must be warm for the yeast to develop.
TIP Salt inhibits the growth of yeast; add half the flour, then the salt, and then the rest of the flour.
TIP To make sure yeast is still “alive,” or active, put it in water and allow it to sit for a few minutes. If it becomes creamy or foamy, it’s active.

Grilled Pizzas

July 22nd, 2009

The weather at the lake has been glorious this summer. In the mornings we are able to throw open the doors and let the cool breezes cleanse the air. The afternoons have been in the 80’s; not what you would exactly call a heat wave. So I haven’t worried about turning on the oven to cook. But I have been wanting to try grilled pizza just for the fun of it. For some reason I had it in my head that it would be difficult, but in truth it turned out to be one of the quickest and tastiest ways to do pizza. The pizzas cook quickly so your ingredients should be prepped and at hand. The grill melts the cheeses but because the crust cooks quickly there is not enough time to cook any of the ingredients. Therefore if you do not like your peppers raw, it would be a good idea to saute them briefly before you add them as a topping.
The pizza dough can be purchased at the store or you can easily make your own if you have the time. I have a recipe for bread machine pizza dough that is very easy. I just throw everything in the machine and an hour later I have pizza dough.
1 cup water
2 Tbls vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp yeast
Add all ingredients to bread machine and process on dough or pizza setting. This makes enough for 3 8″ pizzas.


3 large onions, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 of pizza dough or about 12 oz of purchased dough
1/4 lb. crumbled goat cheese or gorgonzola cheese
3/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup chopped parsley or basil

Heat olive oil in 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook onions with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Prepare grill. If using a gas grill heat to about 400 degrees. Spray grill with cooking oil.

Stretch dough into an 8″ circle on a sheet pan. Brush top with olive oil. Lift dough from sheet pan and place dough directly on grill, oiled side down, and brush top side of dough with oil. Close grill and cook for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes until bottom of dough is nicely browned. Remove dough from grill and place on sheet pan cooked side up and add the caramelized onions, walnuts, crumbled cheese and herbs. Return pizza to grill and cook underside of dough for 1 1/2 minutes or until it is browned. Remove and serve.


1 cooked chicken breast shredded
1/2 of a green or yellow pepper sliced
8 oz. pizza sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 of pizza dough or 12 oz of purchased dough
basil leaves for garnishing.

Saute pepper briefly in a little olive oil. Add shredded chicken to pizza sauce.

Prepare grill. If using a gas grill heat to 400 degrees. Spray grill with cooking oil.

Stretch dough into an 8″ circle on a sheet pan. Brush top with olive oil. Lift dough from sheet pan and place dough directly on grill, oiled side down, and brush top side of dough with oil. Close grill and cook for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes until bottom of dough is nicely browned. Remove dough from grill and place on sheet pan cooked side up and add pizza sauce and chicken mixure, peppers and both cheeses. Return pizza to grill and cook underside of dough for 1 1/2 minutes or until it is browned. Remove pizza and garnish with basil and serve.

These are just my combinations from what I had on hand. You can add anything that appeals to you. Grilled pizza has now become my new summer tradition.

Printable recipe Bread Machine Pizza Dough

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.