When I was a kid my siblings and I were very picky eaters. Ok, I know… all kids are picky and if by chance they are not, then well those parents don’t know how lucky they have it!
My least favorite veggies as a kid were tomatoes. As a kid I remember long, drawn out nights at the dinner table, as my parents did everything in their power to try to get me to eat *just one* tomato. Enforcing the three bite rule, using a stern voice and “threatening” that whatever was for dinner that night was, in fact, the only thing for dinner that night. They would then try begging, pleading, and finally after years of constant struggle, caving in and letting me pick my tomatoes off my salad every night.
Oh and then there was the zucchini incident. That night my Mom got a wild hair and decided we needed to have zucchini and yellow squash for dinner, and I, the drama queen that I was, gagged and choked and eventually spit out said summer squash, whaling that I was allergic and that the zucchini would be the death of me. Which, now that I think of it, this quite ironic, since to this day I can’t even remember seeing my Mom EVER eat zucchini. Like. Ever.
Which I guess concludes why other veggies, such as broccoli, asparagus, spinach, kale, and even pumpkin (besides pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving), never graced our table… my Mom was a picky eater too.
But slowly, I began trying new foods.
This first started as a teenager, when I was invited to my friends’ houses for dinner, and was exposed to a variety of foods. If a plate of food was put in front of me, I was the grateful guest that smiled big and then would eat every single thing on my plate, despite how awful I thought it looked, tasted or smelled.
Then a magical, wonderful thing happened. All those veggies I thought I despised and had very painful childhood memories about, became a little bit more tolerable every time I tired them.
From there the culinary world was my, well my “oyster”. Smile.
I have since explored such delicacies as caviar, escargot, ostrich, and more. I will be honest in saying not everything is my favorite (to this day I still don’t get what’s the big deal about caviar) and while not all of those are for me, I can say that unlike my childhood self, today I am a total veggie lover!
Recently, when picking up our weekly groceries at Walmart, I discovered Alexia Rosemary Fries. We get Alexia Sweet Potato Fries and Onion Rings on a regular bases (because of the quality, seriously super crispy for oven baked fries, and because of their natural ingredients), and I couldn’t wait to give this new flavor a try! Of course we enjoyed the Alexia Rosemary Fries as a simple snack (dipped in my version of fry sauce) and as an easy side with our burgers, but since I sometimes go overboard with buying as much seasonal fruits and vegetables that I can, I need to get a little creative with how I use them all up before they all go bad. So I got a little creative in the kitchen and decided to add those crispy oven baked fries with a hint of rosemary to a savory vegetarian dish!
The end of May and first part of June is hit or miss for produce. Here in the south we are already seeing glorious tomatoes and plenty of watermelon, while I am sure our friends to the north still have plenty of asparagus on hand. A galette is a great way to use up any leftover fruits and vegetables! This savory version was the perfect way to use up that random ear of corn, last handful of tomatoes and what was left at the bottom of that bag of Alexia Rosemary Fries sitting in my freezer!
If you are unfamiliar, a galette is a rustic, free form pie. It is typically filled with seasonal fruit, but a savory version, filled with earthy vegetables, robust herbs and a light sprinkling of pungent Parmesan cheese, will transform any picky eater (kids included) into dare I even suggest it, enthusiastic vegetable lovers!
Well, we can at least hope!
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5-6 tablespoons ice water
For Vegetable Galette:
1 cup Alexia Rosemary Fries
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 ear of corn, kernels cut from the cob
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, diced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
3-4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
Balsamic glaze, optional for topping
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir together both flours and salt. Pour flour mixture into a large food processor and pulse several times. Add cold butter and blend until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add ice water a few tablespoons at a time and and pulse several times, blending until dough comes together. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
When ready to use, roll chilled dough onto lightly floured surface. Once rolled to approximately 10-12-inches in diameter or 1/4-inch thick, carefully lift dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Meanwhile, place rosemary fries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, just until fries are starting to brown and are heated through. Once cooked, remove fries from oven and let cool to room temperature, Cut cooled fries into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cook the tomatoes for 4-5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, cooking until the tomatoes start to burst.
Using a slotted spoon remove tomatoes from pan to a bowl and set aside.
Add onions to remaining oil in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until onions begin to caramelize. Add corn and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the galette crust with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle half of the chopped rosemary and grated cheese evenly over olive oil. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the sides. Fold the excess crust border up over the filling, keeping the center open.
Using the pastry brush, brush the remaining olive oil over crust. Top galette and crust with remaining rosemary, cheese, salt and black pepper.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve immediately topped with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.