Art to table
Just some crumbles and a few arugula leaves was what were left on our plates, even though the original reason for making this recipe was somewhat pretentious…
I just made this dish to recreate the painting “Apple Gallettes” from Claude Monet, 1882. Now you are secretly thinking I’m a nerd. The reality though is I’m a bit of a frustrated artist. Any chances you have to channel any of your alter egos, even if it’s for a day, you know you are going to grab it. So when I saw this painting at a delightfully Impressionists special exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art the thought of recreating it in a picture take over my mind. The top picture is the one inspired in the painting.
That was in April, so of course I imagine it with summery fruits and cream. But then fall came to our doors in a blink of an eye. When I decided to prepare the shooting, it occurred to me to make a savory version, appropriate for late fall weekend lunches, or actually, now thinking about it, even brunch.
This is a vegetarian version, with chickpeas and mushrooms. I infused some olive oil with oregano for that warm note for the chickpeas and used fresh tarragon on the mushrooms for a peppery kick. The crust though is what makes everything wonderful. Crusty and buttery, I could even eat without the filling. It is that good.
1. I’m a making reference to the crust dough I used for my Cream Cheese & Mango crostata, just adjusting the salt and sugar for this savory recipe.
2. The longer the dough is in the fridge, both when it is a disk form or when the crostatas are already assambled, the better.
3. You may use other or other vegetables, just take in consideration that water content of the vegetables you are using so they doesn’t get your dough soggy.
Chickpea and mushrooms crostata
Total time - 1 to 1 1/2 hours, including chilling timePrep time - 30 minutes
Equipment - Food processor, baking sheet, parchment paper or silicone mat, pastry brush
For the crust:
Follow my dough recipe for the crust of my Cream Cheese & Mango crostata, just use a whole teaspoon of salt and cut back 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Place the dough in the fridge at least 30 minutes, or until everything is ready to be ensemble. Let it loose the cold at room temperature before rolling.
Chickpeas – 2 cans, 15.5 oz each
Chicken or vegetable stock or water with a pinch of salt – ½ cup
Olive oil – 3 TBSP
Fresh oregano, chopped – 2 TBSP
Minced garlic – ½ Tsp
Fine sea salt – ½ Tsp salt + 1 pinch
Parmesan or Asiago cheese, grated – ¼ cup
Fresh lime juice – 1 TBSP
Pour the chickpeas into a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain well. Place them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the chicken stock and pulse until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped but no puréed.
In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil with the oregano over medium heat to infuse it. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, stirring to combine with the infused oil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Remove form heat and stir in the cheese and lime juice and salt. Set aside.
Olive oil – 2 TBSP
Thick sliced mushrooms – 3 cups
Fresh tarragon, chopped – 2 TBSP
Minced garlic – ½ Tsp
Fresh lime juice – A squeeze, 1 to 2 Tsp
Fine sea salt – 2 pinches
Freshly ground black pepper – good sprinkle
In a medium sauté pan (you may wipe the one you just used for the chickpeas), heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the tarragon, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute, until the mushrooms have just softened and are well coated with the oil. Take off the heat. Set aside.
To ensemble the crostata:
Sprinkle rolling pin and the area of a clean flat surface with flour. Place one of the dough disks over it and start stretching out with a rolling pin. Roll it out to a circle of 7 ½ inches wide and ¼ inch thick (at this point you may cut a very fine border of the dough with a pizza cutter for a neater edge). Place the rolling pin in the front edge of the dough. Pull up the dough and start rolling backward, wrapping the rolling pin with the dough. Transfer it to the baking sheet with the parchment paper. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chickpea puree on the dough, leaving an outer 1-inch border clear. Toss on top half of the mushrooms. Close inwards the edges of the dough, overlapping a bit with the filling. Repeat the process with the second disk dough, if doing two crostatas. Brush the borders with the egg wash. Place the baking tray on the fridge and chill well, at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the borders are crusty and golden brown, then decrease oven temperature to 350° and bake 5 minutes more. Take out of the oven and let them cool a bite before cutting and serving. You may sprinkle more fresh ground black pepper or cheese (or both!) to enhance flavor.