By Jillian Rivers.

Celebrate the season with this playful galette, incorporating bright lemon and fresh greens. Yes, you may use store-bought whole-milk ricotta or fromage blanc and still make a delicious tart, but why not learn something new along the way? Making fresh cheese requires neither special equipment nor an Alpine skill set, and this super-enriched version is a great starting point. A real no-brainer if you live anywhere near one of our region’s heroic holdout dairy farms.

For the Galette

  • about 16-18 ounces pastry*, chilled and ready to go
  • 1 cup fresh cheese (fromage blanc or recipe to follow)
  • zest from one large lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup green peas
  • the white part of 2 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced, or spring onion
  • 1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced (or asparagus, perhaps)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Maldon salt, to taste

*Use your favorite flaky pastry, or see our workhorse recipe here.

Suggested garnishes

  • 2 cups micro-greens
  • 1 bunch of chives, minced
  • pistachio basil dressing (below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough to a round .25 inch in thickness and place on a buttered or parchment-lined sheet pan. Spread fresh cheese evenly on dough, leaving a bold inch cheese-free at the margin. Sprinkle with lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss peas, leeks, and fennel with olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl, then lay them evenly over the cheese. Fold up the edge of galette to cover about an inch of the filling, making a free-form crust. Brush rim with butter and sprinkle lightly with Maldon salt. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until crust is browned and crisp. Allow to cool before serving at room temperature with optional garnishes.

For the Cheese

  • 1 gallon whole milk, the less processed, the better
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice

Line a large sieve or colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and place over a large bowl.

In a large pot, heat the milk, cream, and salt over a medium-low flame, stirring every now and again, until around 200 degrees, or just before it starts to simmer. It will be actively steaming. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let the mixture stand 10 – 15 minutes, and curds should coagulate, separating from the whey. Ladle into the lined sieve and allow to drain for 20 – 30 minutes. Measure one cup of the cheese for your galette, and store the rest in the fridge or just eat with a spoon. (Note: The whey is full of nutriment and can be used in soups, baking, and smoothies. Historically, thrifty Italian cheesemakers developed ricotta as a clever technique for nudging even more proteins and fats out of the vast amounts of the whey produced during dairy operations. Whey is also a huge favorite with chickens and pigs, so easily converts into eggs or meat.)

For the Dressing

These proportions make way more than you need to set off this galette. You can cut the recipe down if you like but we love drizzling the dressing on any grain or vegetable salad. The dressing provides extra complexity and zing but may be omitted if preferred. 

  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water

Blend pistachios, basil, spinach, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt in food processor or blender. Add olive oil and water slowly until smoothly blended. Thin with a bit more water or lemon juice, if preferred. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Galette serves 6 – 8 for lunch or 8 – 10 as an appetizer.

Jillian Rivers is a professional cook with a passion for everything edible. She studied at the Culinary Institute of America and has been working in kitchens from NY to MA for the last decade. She owns a small catering business, Antique Peach, where she creates unique food stylings.