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Hosting a Meat-Free Holiday Dinner? Here’s Your Main Dish.

This mushroom and leek galette is an impressive vegetarian main for a festive dinner. It is unfussy to make and unforgettable to eat. 
By Published Nov. 17, 2022

You dont have to be vegetarian to be looking for a meat-free alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey or roast, especially in these budget-conscious times.

But you still want the meal's centerpiece to feel special and festive.

Happily, we've got plenty of options, including our Eggplant Involtini, vegetable paella, or White Bean and Mushroom Gratin.

But our absolute favorite is a savory tart. 

And not just any tart. This Mushroom and Leek Galette with Gorgonzola is downright swoonworthy. 

Its crust is flaky and nutty-tasting, and its filling wonderfully complex from savory shiitake mushrooms; sweet oniony leeks; and creamy, pungent gorgonzola. 

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If youre new to galettes, these are freeform tarts with a rustic elegance that always impresses yet requires no special skills or equipment. 

They are typically made by rolling out a buttery crust, spreading a filling on top, and then pleating the edges to contain the filling while leaving the center beautifully exposed. (Galettes aren’t always savory, and we also like dessert versions, such as this apple one). 

Our mushroom and leek tart is even more special than your average galette, making it worthy of the spotlight at a holiday dinner.

We developed some handy tricks to create a crust thats delicate yet sturdy enough to stand up to the rich, hearty filling, and to ensure that the vegetables moisture doesnt ruin the crust’s crisp texture.  

4 Keys to Making a Flavor-Packed, Showstopper Tart

Add nutty whole-wheat flour to the crust. Whole-wheat flour contributes earthy notes that complement the savory filling. Its coarse consistency also makes for a hearty crumb. 

Fold dough to create lots of flaky layers. We give the dough a series of folds to create the long, striated layers similar to those in puff pastry. These make the crust more resistant to splitting when sliced, for a prettier presentation. 

Precook the vegetables. We microwave and drain the mushrooms and combine them with browned leeks. Removing moisture from the vegetables is crucial to concentrating their flavors and preventing a soggy crust. 

Add boldly flavored binders. To help the vegetables stay neatly bound and to add complexity to the filling, we work in a rich, flavorful three-part binder: crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, and crumbled Gorgonzola. You can even swap in goat cheese if blue isn’t your thing. 

This dish can’t help but impress everyone at the table, even the meat-eaters. We love it so much that we are giving you the whole recipe.

Mushroom and Leek Galette with Gorgonzola

Serves 6

Time: 2 hours, plus 1½ hours resting

 

Dough

1¼ cups (6¼ ounces) all-purpose flour

½ cup (2¾ ounces) whole-wheat flour

1 tablespoon sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled

7 tablespoons ice water

1 teaspoon white vinegar

 

Filling

1¼ pounds shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin

5 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced ½ inch thick and washed thoroughly (3 cups)

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

2 tablespoons crème fraîche

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (¾ cup)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

kosher salt

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

 

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Cutting a few small holes in the dough prevents it from lifting off the pan as it bakes. A pizza stone helps to crisp the crust but is not essential.

1. FOR THE DOUGH: Process flours, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, 2 to 3 pulses. Add butter and pulse until it forms pea-size pieces, about 10 pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. 

2. Sprinkle water and vinegar over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix until loose, shaggy mass forms with some dry flour remaining (do not overwork). Transfer mixture to center of large sheet of plastic wrap, press gently into rough 4-inch square, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

3. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Roll into 11 by 8-inch rectangle with short side of rectangle parallel to edge of work surface. Using bench scraper, bring bottom third of dough up, then fold upper third over it, folding like business letter into 8 by 4-inch rectangle. Turn dough 90 degrees counterclockwise. Roll out dough again into 11 by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds again. Turn dough 90 degrees counterclockwise and repeat rolling and folding into thirds. After last fold, fold dough in half to create 4-inch square. Press top of dough gently to seal. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. 

4. FOR THE FILLING: Cover mushrooms in bowl and microwave until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to colander to drain and return to bowl. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks and thyme, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with mushrooms. Stir in crème fraîche and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

5. TO BAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower middle position, place pizza stone on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Roll out on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to 14-inch circle about ⅛ inch thick. (Trim edges as needed to form rough circle.) Transfer dough to parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet. With tip of paring knife, cut five ¼-inch circles in dough (one at center and four evenly spaced midway from center to edge of dough). Brush top of dough with 1 teaspoon oil.

6. Spread half of filling evenly over dough, leaving 2-inch border around edge. Sprinkle with half of Gorgonzola, cover with remaining filling, and top with remaining Gorgonzola. Drizzle remaining 1 teaspoon oil over filling. Grasp 1 edge of dough and fold up outer 2 inches over filling. Repeat around circumference of tart, overlapping dough every 2 to 3 inches; gently pinch pleated dough to secure but do not press dough into filling. Brush dough with egg and sprinkle evenly with kosher salt.

7. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling is beginning to brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool tart on baking sheet on wire rack for 10 minutes. Using offset or wide metal spatula, loosen tart from parchment and carefully slide tart off parchment onto cutting board. Sprinkle with parsley, cut into wedges, and serve.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.