Tomato and Gruyère Galette à la Provençale

Oh how often we prepared this galette in the summer. Only when tomatoes are at their best, do they deserve to be showcased as the star of this dish. When we lived in France, we befriended Valerie, a lovely and kind Italian lady who helped us in so many ways. Her husband and younger son had a passion for gardening and every year they would plant different types of tomatoes and other vegetables. Their garden would do so well, she did not know what to do with her vegetable crop. She was only happy to share some of them with us. So, she would come to our house with crates of vegetables, especially ripe tomatoes, the size of a football, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers and we did so many different dishes with those vegetables. From Ratatouille, Tomato Basil sauce, Gaspacho, Tomato Pesto, Tomato with Mozzarella and so many more. But our favorite was this tomato Galette, which we layered with Dijon mustard at the base and sprinkled with Herbes de Provence. The richness of the dough, which of course is made with butter is balanced with the acidity of the tomatoes and the spiciness of the Herbes de Provence, which we garnished with chilli peppers and cracked pepper. How delightfully rich and buttery. Served with a glass of Rose, the dish is simple, yet complex in flavours and expresses summer like no others. Don’t be put off by the daunting task of making the dough. If you have a food processor, it takes a few minutes and it is rather is easy to put together. The secret lies in having all your ingredients extremely cold, especially the butter and the water, which will help the dough blossom in contact with the heat. You can make the dough in advance as it also freezes well. So you can actually double the recipe and keep an extra dough in the freezer. Well worth the effort.
Grated Gruyere works particularly well with this galette. You can also use Parmesan or sharp Cheddar Cheese.

57 Gr. (1/2 Cup) butter – Very cold –
(I cut it in small pieces and leave it in the freezer for an hour)
1 1/2 Cup All purpose flour
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Sugar
1/3 Cold water – I usually add an ice cube
2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 Very large Heirloom Tomatoes
40 Gr. Grated Parmesan Cheese – You can also use Strong Cheddar Cheese
1 Teaspoon Herbes de Provence
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Egg Yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Using a food processor, stir in the flour, sugar and salt. Add the frozen butter and pulse it about 15 times, until the mixture ressemble thick sand.
Add the cold water and pulse it until the dough comes together.
Remove it, form a round ball and place it in a cling film for a minimum of an hour. I usually prepare it the day before and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven at 180 Celsius

Roll out the dough in a circle, about 1/4 Inch – .6 CM thick –
Spread the mustard at the bottom of the dough – Add half the grated parmesan and then spread the tomato slices in layers, in a circle.
Add half the Herbes de Provence and some of the grated cheese. Finish with another layer of tomatoes, herbes de Provence and grated cheese.
Fold the edges of the dough all around to create an enveloppe as per picture above.
Garnish with the remaining Parmesan.
Mix the egg yolk and water and using a small brush, cover the dough with the egg preparation. This will give a lovely shine.
Bake for 1 hour until brown, crispy. Serve immediately.

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