I want to introduce you all to a friend of mine. She’s the kind of friend who’s always there for you with helpful tips and suggestions when you’re stressed out. The kind of friend who is full of useful information. The kind of friend who inspires you. Her name is Deborah Madison, and she wrote Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
We’re on a first-name basis with Deborah in my house. The great thing about her is that while she has a number of tantalizing, more difficult recipes, she is also an invaluable source for basic vegetable information. For each vegetable she features she tells you how to select a fresh vegetable, how to store it, how it is best used, any special handling needed, and quantities – how the amount of fresh vegetable you buy translates into servings. There may also be information on varieties of the veggie, and there are always very basic cooking instructions (steaming, sautéing, roasting) in addition to more advanced recipes. Having this very fundamental information on how to cook a vegetable makes it much less scary to branch out into new territory. And much easier to deal with new vegetables if they are foisted upon you.
Two years ago, we were part of a CSA (community supported agriculture), meaning that we got a bag of fresh veggies from a local farm every week. And while there were always onions, and as we advanced into summer we got peppers and tomatoes, to begin with we had almost nothing but beets, cabbage, and cauliflower. And we had no idea what to do with them. People started referring to the weekly bag of vegetables as “The Tyranny of the CSA”, as it was an endless stream of unknown and unpopular vegetables, and we had to eat them because they represented a large investment.
Enter Deborah. For every strange thing that turned up in our weekly shipment, Deborah had an answer. And while they weren’t always glamorous solutions, at least they were there, and as we learned about the new vegetables we were able to branch out more on our own. I personally didn’t see the CSA as tyrannical – I liked the challenge of dealing with new vegetables, and I think the CSA made me less scared of them. The following recipe is adapted from Deborah’s Cabbage and Mushroom Galette, a recipe that we turned to after our third or fourth cabbage arrived. It’s surprisingly delicious and a self-proclaimed cabbage-hater has requested that I make her this dish several times.
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
This recipe calls for several types of fresh herbs – I happened to have them all in the house due to Thanksgiving recipes. Remember, you can substitute dried herbs for fresh ones in a pinch. Use 1/3 as much of the dried herb as called for.
See how small the cabbage I used was? That is really all the cabbage you need – it yielded almost 6 cups, chopped.
Try using something other than white button mushrooms in this recipe. Shiitake are very good, as are baby bellas – both will add depth to the dish, though button mushrooms work fine as well and are more economical.
This is a bread-like galette dough, as opposed to a more typical pastry-like dough. I find that this compliments the savory filling, and is easier to work with.
This recipe can easily be expanded to serve more people by increasing the filling quantity and building the galette on a larger pan. When you fold over the edges you will have a larger area of exposed filling in the middle of the galette, and you may need to bake it a little longer.
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
2 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
3 – 4 Tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped
3 Tbsp butter, divided
1 medium onion, diced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 small head cabbage (about 6 cups), chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
2-3 Tbsp fresh dill
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/4 – 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 Tbsp vinegar (rice or other clear flavored vinegar – not plain white!)
salt and fresh-ground pepper
In a small pot, warm the milk over medium heat. You want it to be warm to the touch but not scalding hot – hot milk will kill the yeast. I check the temperature by dripping some milk on my wrist. Pour the milk, yeast, and sugar into a large bowl and let stand until bubbly and the yeasty smell begins to permeate the room – about 10 minutes.Stir in the egg, salt and herbs (choose herbs that complement your filling), and begin gradually adding the flour. After you’ve added one cup, beat in the butter. Continue to add the flour until you’ve worked as much in as you can. (I always do this by hand – if using a stand mixer, add flour until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl).
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. (This will not look like bread dough – it is distinctly more satiny in texture, and slightly shiny looking). Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise 45 minutes to an hour.
In a large skillet melt one tablespoon of butter, and sauté the diced onion until slightly browned. Add the garlic, sliced mushrooms, and herbs; cook until the mushrooms have browned. Add the cabbage, a large pinch of salt, and a small amount of water; cover and cook, stirring occasionally until soft. Uncover and cook a few more minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Stir in the sour cream or yogurt, the filling should be coated, but not soupy-looking. Add the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a large circle, approximately 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a small pizza pan (12 inch) or the back of a cookie sheet. (I fold the dough up accordion style, place the pan right next to the dough, and then unfold it over the pan). Spoon the filling onto the dough, making a mound 8 or so inches in diameter. Fold the dough over the filling, overlapping it in soft folds. Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and brush it over the exposed dough. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until browned. Cut into wedges, and serve with horseradish. Serves 8