Leaf is a celebration of edible leaves in all their versatility. Purely in terms of flavour, they offer immense variety—bitterness, pungency, pepper, citrus, sweetness. And visually leaves are a riot of colour and texture—from the palest shades of white and yellow, through to the deepest, darkest greens, via rich purples, reds and pinks. Leaves can be tightly furled torpedoes or bullets, floppy with a peony blowsiness, spiky, crinkly, curly, delicate and feathery. They range from the tiniest of micro herbs to huge elephant ears, a meal in a leaf.
From lettuce and herbs, through cabbages and even tea, Catherine Phipps explores the world of culinary leaves through meticulous research, evocative writing and foolproof recipes. With recipes taking in soups, salads, brunches, starters, mains, puddings, baking, preserves and drinks, this is the complete, definitive book of cooking with leaves of all kinds.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
400g (14oz) chard, stems and leaves separated, finely shredded
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
200g (7oz) new or waxy potatoes, sliced, or cooked beetroot, cut into wedges
100g (3 ½ oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
For the pastry
300g (2 ½ cups) wholewheat spelt flour
175g (6oz) butter
1 egg, beaten
For the rosemary oil
4 tbsp olive oil
A few sprigs of rosemary
This is something I make frequently as it is a very good receptacle for leftovers—heels of cheese, roasted root vegetables, and of course, any greens. It is very quick if you have enough cooked greens and a packet of vacuum-packed beetroot, though of course, the flavour is better if you roast fresh beetroot and then use their leaves in the galette. The rosemary oil at the end isn’t essential, but it does add an extra depth and smokiness.
Start with the filling. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and add the chard stems. Cook for 5–10 minutes over a medium heat until lightly coloured, then add the garlic and chard leaves. Pour in 50ml (¼ cup) water, then cover and leave the chard to wilt. Stir in the rosemary and cool. At the same time, cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until tender. Drain and cool.
Next, make the pastry. Put the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, do this in a food processor or in a stand mixer using the beater attachment. Add the egg and work in just enough iced water to bring together into a smooth, slightly tacky dough. Form into a ball, then cover in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a round of approximately 30–35cm (12–14in) diameter.
Transfer the round to your largest baking (cookie) sheet – you will probably find that it will overlap slightly, but it is still much easier to assemble in situ. Mix the chard with the potatoes or beetroot, then pile onto the pastry, leaving a border of around 4–5cm (1½–2in). Sprinkle with the cheese. Fold in the borders so they cover the outer limits of the filling—don’t worry about the pastry pleating and overlapping; it will have to in places. Brush with beaten egg. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until well browned.
Meanwhile, make the rosemary oil. Put the rosemary on a baking sheet and brown in the oven for a few minutes. Crush in a pestle and mortar, then mix with the olive oil.
Drizzle the galette with the rosemary oil. It is best served on the warm side of room temperature with a green salad.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Quadrille Publishing.