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Maybe you recall the time Marian Bull crafted a perfect Food52 advice column response in the form of a poem.
Yes? No? Check it out here, and maybe print it for posterity.
The gist is this: Some poor sucker sent in a plea for creative vegetarian dinner party mains, so tired of grain salads and pasta dishes the aforementioned sucker found herself. Marian came to the rescue with aplomb and a knack for rhyme, offering stanza upon stanza of suggestions, much to the sucker’s gratitude and joy.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am that poor sucker. After a lifetime of attending my mother’s dinner parties wherein a (magical) pork tenderloin took center stage, I had reached the age of throwing such shindigs myself, only to remember that a growing subset of the people I love identify as meatless, on Mondays or otherwise. There was only so much quinoa I could subject myself and my guests to before we all collectively turned into a heaping portion of the ancient grain.
Help me, I implored Marian, a veg herself, in the form of a request submission signed “zzzzz”—as in, I am the most boring vegetarian hostess in this great wide world.
All of Marian’s ideas were golden—from pizza to tacos to stuff on toast—but I was most intrigued by the idea of a vegetable galette. Having one big dish from which everyone is served feels very dinner party-ish to me, but it's not as easy as it sounds when meat is out of the picture; I love the concept of letting the main dish act as “its own centerpiece,” as Marian notes, and, from my experience with dessert versions, I knew a galette was capable of commanding that kind of reverence.
For a savory iteration, I raided the root vegetable section of the produce aisle, sliced everything as thin as I could manage, and piled it all atop a generous spread of herby cheese. The result was stunningly colored, rustic as all heck, and totally satisfying as party food alongside a bracingly dressed salad and glasses of wine.
For the dough:
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into little pieces
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the assembly:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- salt and pepper
- 6 ounces soft goat cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon (heaping) finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon (heaping) finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 1 turnip, peeled and sliced into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 1 egg, beaten
- olive oil