Monday, February 23, 2009

Prize Worthy Sweet Potato Galette

How did the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission know we are growing our own sweet potatoes?

I just received an e-mail urging me to enter a "bloggers recipe contest" sponsored by the sweet potato commission. I might have blown it off, but the reward for best recipe is $1,000. That got me thinking maybe I should post one of our favorite methods for putting sweet potatoes on the dinner table--this sweet potato galette.

A potato galette in the French country style traditionally is made with standard potatoes. But we love sweet potatoes--they are so nutritious and full of flavor--and now we harvest them out of our own kitchen garden, right here in the District of Columbia about a mile from the White House. One day I was trying to think of a way to incorporate sweet potatoes with something else we grow plenty of: greens. And to continue the local theme, I decided to add one of our favorite Maryland cheeses. Why not layer them all together? The sweet potato galette was born.
To make the galette, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Coat the bottom of a well-seasoned, cast-iron skillet with extra virgin olive oil and place it over moderate heat. Peel three large sweet potatoes and slice them into thin rounds. (A mandoline makes quick work of this.) Shingle the rounds to cover the bottom of the skillet. The bottom-most potatoes will begin to cook and brown while you are assembling the rest. Between each layer, dot the potatoes with cooked greens, such as mustard greens or kale or collard greens. Or, better yet, a combination of greens. You will need about one pound of cooked greens total.

Alternate layers of cheese. I've used a soft Gorgonzola in the past. But for a strictly local galette, I bought a piece of blue goat's milk cheese from Firefly Farms in Bittinger, MD. Firefly is one of the regular vendors at the Dupont Circle market. Between each layer, after you've capped it off with more potatoes, press down very firmly with a flat object, such as a pot lid or another skillet. Then season with olive oil, salt and black pepper.

Continue layering the galette until the skillet is nearly filled to the top. Place in the oven and bake until the potatoes are easily pierced with a metal trussing skewer, about 20 minutes. Remove the skillet and allow the galette to cool. To remove the galette from the skillet, use a knife or spatula to cut around the edge, then invert it onto a large plate or cutting board.

This galette is delicious warm or even at room temperature, and it can easily be made ahead and reheated. The sweetness of the potatoes seems to meld exceptionally well with the pungency of the cheese and the pleasant bitterness of the greens. Try it with your favorite local salad and a crisp glass of Chablis. Or if you've got a particular hankering for meat, this galette would be an ideal partner for a juicy pork roast.


FoodRenegade said...

This looks positively delightful! You can bet I'll be adding this to my menu next week. Thanks for the idea.

Shannon said...

MMMMMMMM. Great recipe! It should be a winner in all categories!

Jana said...

Wow!! Looks Great.

rich said...

Excellent idea. I can imagine eating that at a summer picnic. Shame it's February.

The results look very elegant. You could vary this in many ways - something substantial like kale or chard would be excellent, and a strong cheddar would work too. Many options from an excellent base idea.

Ed Bruske said...

Kristen, I think you will enjoy this. I can easily make a whole meal out of it. Make sure your pan is non-stick.

Shannon, thanks for the encouragement. I'm not one to enter contests. But since they asked...

Jana, it tastes even better than it looks.

Rich, we like to use heart greens from our garden for this galette. I'm not sure how I feel about cheddar cheese in it. Blue cheese seems to work extremely well with the sweetness of the potatoes and the slight bitterness of the greens.

Annie said...

mmmm that looks great and what a creative recipe. Thanks, never saw that before.

Ed Bruske said...

Annie, I think it is pretty original if I do say so. If you decide to try it, make sure you use a very well-seasoned skillet or a non-stick pan so that the galette comes out easily when you flip it. I've had some where I had to do a little patch work at the end.

Cristy said...

Hi Ed!

We've featured your recipe on our sweet potato blog -- a whole entry on sweet potatoes and blue cheese. Hope you enter the contest again this year!