Leafy Green

How to Make Any Savory Galette without a Recipe

October 20, 2014

Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: Associate Editor Marian Bull thinks you should be eating more pie for dinner. Here's how to make that happen.

Savory Galette

Shop the Story

I shouldn't have to sell you very hard on the virtues of savory galettes. They are pies that you eat for dinner.

Savory galettes (or tarts, if that's what you'd rather call them) will also sit proudly in the center of your table, flanked only by a good salad and a bottle of wine, and feel like a capital-D Dinner, the kind you can serve to any type of company, fancy or not, picky or not, wearing sweaters or wearing sundresses. 

Savory Galette

They are also, I can confidently say, one of the most reliable vegetarian entrees you can pull from your back pocket any time that grain salads feel a little too virtuous, or pasta a little unimaginative. They welcome imperfection and improvisation and enormous amounts of cheese. And if you're keeping pie dough in your freezer -- if not, why? -- well, you're halfway there.

Once you have a handle on how to make pie crust -- here's a good primer -- you don't need a recipe to make a savory galette. Cook down whatever vegetables call out to you at the market, sex them up with a handful (or three) of cheese, then swaddle them in crust and bake until you have something deep golden brown and bubbling and ready to steal whatever show you have planned.

Tell me that vegetables tucked into buttery, flaky crust isn't the perfect comfort food and I'll tell you to come over for dinner.

Here's how to make any savory galette, without a recipe:

1. Make your crust. Use whatever pie crust recipe you fancy; I like to use half white whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose, because it makes the whole thing taste a little heartier. I use all butter, and a bit of apple cider vinegar mixed into my water -- basically this recipe, with a bit of white whole-wheat flour subbed in.

You can also try adding cornmeal, or spices, or ground-up herbs, or maybe even cheese? This is your first opportunity to build flavor, so don't cast it off as some sort of flavorless serving vessel for your filling. Once you mix it, form it into a fat disk and let it chill for at least an hour or so, but ideally overnight.

Savory Galette


2. Here's a brilliant tip I learned from our test kitchen manager, Allison: Before you roll out your thick disk of dough, whack it down a few times with your rolling pin. This is a lot of fun and a little loud, but it also gives you a good head start on a nicely shaped pie crust. You're avoiding those first few rolls where your dough cleaves and cracks and turns into a weird amoeba and you know that a real circle is not in your future. So lightly flour your surface, lightly flour your dough, then bang it down until your circle widens by a few inches.

Roll out your dough, rotating it every few rolls to keep it from sticking or turning into an amoeba. Stop when it's about 10 or 11 inches in diameter, or when it's at a thickness that looks good to you.

Savory Galette


3. Cook your filling. You have so many options!! Sautéed mushrooms. Roasted squash. Roasted fennel. Slinky leeks. Straight-up potatoes. You could probably put some sausage in there, or some bacon, if that's your thing.

My go-to is heaping piles of greens -- here, I've used one bunch of lacinato kale and one bunch of mustard greens -- cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked down with garlic and shallots until they're soft and meek. (Blessed are the meek greens, for they shall inherit our plates.)

If you cook greens or another watery vegetable, be sure to squeeze all the liquid out to ensure that your filling is rich and flavorful, not sad and watery. Use a colander and the back of a spoon, or do it with your (clean) hands -- just make sure to wait until the greens cool, so you're not dealing with second-degree palm burns.

Savory Galette  SAVORY GALETTE


4. Finish your filling. Cheese is always welcome here; I used asiago. But you can also add delicate herbs, nuts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, capers, and so on. Maybe a few glops of soft cheese. Whatever doo-dads you like -- stir them in, then taste for seasoning. (If you're adding cheese, remember that this will make things saltier, so salt your vegetables conservatively -- you can always add more after you add your cheese.)

Savory Galette


5. Lay your groundwork. Transfer your rolled-out crust to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and if you like, add a little layer of something to serve as a buffer between your filling and your crust. I like a bit of Dijon mustard, or a sprinkle of hard cheese, but you could also try a savory jam, or really any other condiment that's more viscous than watery. If you were British, maybe you would consider Marmite.

Savory Galette


6. Add your filling. Spread it in an even layer. Consider how much top crust you want -- my answer to this is always "a lot," so I keep a 2-inch border of unfilled crust. If you want your galette to be daintier, or you want to see more filling, keep a thinner border.

Savory Galette


7. Fold! This is my favorite part. Fold little sections of crust over your filling to make something that resembles a hexagon, or an octagon, or if you're feeling really crazy, a dodecahedron. (And then you'll have a Phantom Tollbooth-themed galette! And I'll be your friend!)

If your dough is feeling particularly soft and therefore making you nervous, stick the whole thing into the fridge or the freezer until it firms up.

Savory Galette


8. Preheat your oven! Then finish your galette with an egg wash or a cream wash, and sprinkle with cheese or herbs. I've found, and I'm not sure why, that replacing your egg wash with heavy cream works well here. But go with whatever wash you want, then sprinkle on some hard cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino), maybe some herbs, a few cracks of black pepper, or a sprinkle of flaky salt.

Savory Galette


8. Bake your galette -- I recommend a really high heat, like 400° F -- for 30 to 40 minutes, until your crust is a deep golden brown. You don't want your cheese or anything else to burn, of course, but remember that a brown crust is a flaky, flavorful crust. When it comes to pastry, blondes do not have more fun. If your cheese is browning more quickly than your crust, consider tenting it with foil.

Unlike fruit galettes, which often need to set up after they're cooked so that their filling doesn't run everywhere, savory galettes can usually be sliced almost immediately. While your galette cooks, toss together a salad -- I'd suggest something crunchy and sturdy like radicchio. Set it on the table, pour a few glasses of wine, and wahoo, that's your dinner. Slice your galette at the table; you'll be going back for slivers until it's a pile of crumbs. If any leftovers survive, you'll be smart to save them for breakfast.

Savory Galette

Photos by James Ransom 


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Casey Fry
    Casey Fry
  • Lea
  • Sarah
  • angie
  • shoopee
Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



Casey F. February 25, 2019
If I hadn’t already been considering making one of these, I would be now. Your writing style was cheerful and fun and I’m even more excited to try making my first galette after hearing your excitement over it!

Thanks for the awesome tips! I can’t wait to try this.
Lea February 21, 2018
Would this need to be refrigerated if not eaten fresh?
Sarah February 21, 2018
Just made this! So good. Did a combo of greens that are growing in my garden right now: chard, mustard, beet, purple collards, komatsuna, and broccoli rabe. Along with grated white cheddar, garlic, and smoked paprika. Turned out great and I will definitely be referring to this again.
angie November 6, 2017
WOW this is so good! I put in caramelized onions and sliced roasted brussel sprouts with a little pecorino romano. Perhaps I roasted the vegetables a bit too much beforehand, as they got more roasted as the galette baked. A piece of foil in the center did a nice job keeping it from burning.
shoopee July 11, 2017
I made two of these last night for a potluck. One was carmelized onions with a layer of dijon on the bottom and grated parm over the top; the second was pesto on the bottom, kale in the middle, feta and parm on top. Delish! I used the pie recipe from How to Cook Everything, minus the sugar, plus 1/2 WW pastry flour and a little AC vinegar.
Lady J. May 29, 2017
This. Was. Fantastic. I used Dijon mustard for the bottom, topped it with wilted spinach, gruyere, and feta. Probably could have cut back on the cheese to let the spinach shine through, but wonderful. Ate way too much.
Celine F. April 13, 2017
This in my kind of recipe. Just enough info to make it and then w all the options and not complicated. Thank you !
Nancy March 28, 2016
Made this last night for Easter and everyone loved it. Followed dough recipe exactly, but used a food processor. Came out perfectly flakey. I cooked 2 leeks, a small box of cremini mushrooms from Trader Joes in a little butter and olive oil. After they were cooked down, I added about a half bunch of chopped rainbow chard and couple handfuls of spinach. Cooked it until tender. Did not need to squeeze any liquid (plus didn't want the hassle of another step) placed a sprinkling of reggiano on dough first before dumping my vege mixture. No issues whatsoever of crust getting soggy. Pure delicious with a sprinkle of parsley mixed with touch of lemon juice and evo after galette was cooked. May even make again tonight, experimenting with adding eggs.
Kenneth H. March 9, 2016
Awesome article, and I too love the Phantom Toll Booth reference!!!
Lea February 21, 2016
Ok, I am your friend just because you quoted Phantom Tollbooth; -D
KurrerBell November 7, 2015
Thanks very much--for the link to the dough lessons and the inspiration. I made the dough in my processor with scant water and flaky salt. The result was the flakiest, most delicious crust I've ever made. Like being at a starred restaurant in France. My filling was indulgent: caramelized leeks and shallots with Gruyere. Yum City.
Carey N. September 6, 2015
A sprinkle of flake yeast makes a nice vegan sub for cheese.
And anyone who can pull a phantom tollbooth ref out of her back pocket like that can be my best friend anytime!
Ann June 2, 2015
What are your tips to make this delicious without cheese or any dairy? This sounds delicious but I am vegan. Thanks!
caitlin June 19, 2015
its sort of obvious, just make the crust with your choice of vegan butter, then omit the cheese, she doesn't specifically say you have to add cheese, just that its always welcome in pies like this
caitlin June 19, 2015
and for the wash just try oil or water
Acacia April 5, 2018
Could also use coconut oil for the crust
Shane P. January 13, 2020
I made an olive oil crust galette yesterday with tomatoes - basically used this recipe but subbed half the flour with whole wheat. Turned out quite good!
Emily March 24, 2021
I recommend a raw cashew “cheese“ or perhaps some garlicky hummus just to add that creamy aspect. For the crust, choose a non-butter fat.
yenyen January 8, 2015
Now a family favorite. I make it at least twice a month. Love it, love it, love it.
Melissa H. November 19, 2014
Love the marmite idea!
roryrabbitfield November 4, 2014
This is a great "clean out the produce drawer" recipe. I am cheating tonight using store bought pie crust, but I wanted to clear that out of my freezer. Cant wait for dinner. Yum.
Anna G. October 22, 2014
I am an avid pie maker and have never attempted a galette. Super inspired! Thanks so much- beautiful, delicious article!
Caitlin G. October 21, 2014
Great article and definitely a year-round recipe to have tucked up your sleeve. bon app!
Cynthia C. October 21, 2014
Your writing always makes my day. And with a Phantom Tollbooth ref tucked in there, it's beyond perfection. Love galettes and love this article!
Heather October 20, 2014
Galettes rule! And they invite recipe-lessness in their deceptively casual, yet delicious delivery system. My favorites so far, are a roasted butternut squash/beet/onion with rosemary and a sausage/all-the-greens-in-the-garden variation. I've made single (big) AND individuals (winner at our house...even our 14 year old said -about greens- "you can make this again". I was trying empanadas and calzones for a while, but frustrated at small amounts of filling to dough ratio (at least for the empanadas). Galettes you can pile high with fabulous greens with no explosions. Thank you for your galette celebration, inviting our moods and refrigerators to move us "to cheese or not to cheese" and to many other pastry-embraced explorations.