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Spending time in France this summer made me fall [deeper] in love with two things:  radishes, and laminated pastry dough.

I vividly remember this unassuming little bakery in the 18th arrondissement where my girl friend and I bought pastries for breakfast.  It smelled like butter melting into the middle of a warm baguette, and that smell poured out onto the street.  It had a dark-stained wood facade, was barely larger than a Parisian elevator, and the pastries were arranged in neat rows on a worn wooden counter.  Indistinguishable from every other neighborhood boulangerie in Paris, there was nothing remarkable about this place.  Yet, everything about it was remarkable — how could they create such perfect puff pastry in so humble a space, while the nearest bakery to my home has a gorgeous professional kitchen stocked with every gadget on my Christmas list, but their croissant have as much life as a corpse.

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So when a wave of nostalgia washed over me recently, I set out to create something that would transport me back to that little boulangerie.  A beautiful bunch of radishes from the farmers market sparked the idea for this radish galette.

There’s probably a statistic, which I am too lazy to google, that shows how the vast majority of croissant-eaters have never made puff pastry dough.  And these people have probably avoided making puff pastry dough because it’s either too time-consuming, too intimidating, or not worth the hassle.  But folks, it doesn’t take that long, it’s not difficult, and it’s totally worth the effort.  I’ve given a step-by-step below.  The most time-consuming piece is waiting 15 minutes between each turn of the puff pastry — but this is free time that you can use to do whatever else you wish.

This galette is delightful, built on a flaky, docile pastry, with peppery radishes rendered almost to butter, and creamy chèvre.  In just one bite, you’ll be strolling the Marais and drinking too much red wine.

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Braised Radish Galette with Chèvre and Lemon Zest

Makes 4 galettes

  • 1 bunch (about 15 individual) radishes
  • 1 recipe puff pastry (see below, or use store-bought)
  • 1/4 C chèvre
  • paprika
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 T butter
  • 2 T white wine
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • coarse salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Clean radishes, and slice in half, leaving stems attached.  Set aside.
  2. On a lightly-floured surface, roll puff pastry dough out to a 12″x14″ rectangle (should be approximately 1/6″ thick).  Create straight edges by trimming off excess dough on all four sides (a pizza cutter works well here).  Quarter the remaining dough into smaller rectangles, each measuring ~5″x6″.
  3. Place each quarter of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet.  Spread chèvre and sprinkle paprika evenly over each dough, leaving 1/2″-1″ margin around the edges.  Brush egg whites onto the free margins of each dough.  Bake in 400°F oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium-high heat in heavy-bottomed skillet.  Place radishes in skillet, cut surfaces facing down, and cook until cut surfaces are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  By now, the butter will have been picked up by the radishes, leaving the skillet rather dry.  Add wine and place tightly-fitting lid onto skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until radishes are tender and greens are wilted, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. When galettes emerge from oven after 20 minutes, assemble radishes onto each galette.  Place galettes back into oven, and bake at 400°F for another 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer galettes to cooling rack.  When they’re cool enough to handle, sprinkle with lemon zest and coarse salt.  Serve warm.

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Puff Pastry

Adapted from Pies: Sweet and Savory by C. Bretherton

  • 1 + 1/2 C a.p. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 4 T + 8 T butter, cubed
  • 1/2 C water
  1. Sift flour, salt, and sugar into large mixing bowl.  Add 4 T butter, rubbing flour and butter together between your fingertips until the mixture has a breadcrumb-like consistency.  Work quickly and don’t over-handle — you don’t want to heat the flour and activate the gluten.
  2. Add water, and combine just enough to form a soft, smooth dough.  Again, don’t overwork the dough.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. On a lightly-floured surface, roll the dough into a long rectangle, approximately 7″x18″, and about 1/8″ thick.  Dab the 8 T of butter over 2/3 of the dough.  Fold the bottom 1/3 up over the middle 1/3, then fold the top 1/3 over the middle 1/3.  This will leave you with a ~7″x6″ packet with 5 layers (dough, butter, dough, butter, and dough).  Press the edges of the packet together to seal up the butter.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Again roll the dough into a ~7″x18″ rectangle, then fold in thirds, similar to the previous step (but just without the dabs of butter in between folds).  This is a “turn”.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Make 4 turns, always refrigerating the dough between steps.  I like to alternate the rolling direction of the dough — basically, rotate the dough 90° between each turn.

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