Fiddlehead and Mushroom Galette With Caramelized Onion Ricotta
This savoury galette has a creamy ricotta filling with caramelized onions and also loaded with mushrooms and fiddleheads. All of that wrapped up in a buttery crust. The perfect appetizer but can also sit proudly in the center of your table, shared by a good salad and a bottle of wine, and you can call it dinner.
What is a galette?
A galette is used primarily to refer to a rustic, free-form tart-made with a single crust of pastry or pie dough. This pastry takes the form as a sweet, open-faced tart piled high with fruit or chocolate, but there are also endless savory combinations that can turn a galette into a main course or an appetizer. The edges are usually folded over the filling or they can be crimped. It then gets baked up to perfection. It’s simpler then a pie but has all delicious things a pie has - a buttery golden crust and bubbling filling.
What are fiddleheads?
Fiddleheads are the young shoots of the ostrich fern. Fresh fiddleheads are only available in the spring and the rest of the year they can be found frozen. They can be foraged for only a limited number of weeks each year, probably why everyone is always so excited about them when they are in season. If you blink you may miss the season but they are great from frozen too.
What can I substitute for fiddle heads?
They have the flavour and texture that is very similar to asparagus with a touch of spinach in there too. In fact if you don’t have any available to make this galette feel free to use asparagus in their place. They can be cooked in the same way as well - grilled, roasted, or sautéed and drizzled with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or they can be added to savoury tarts and galettes like this one.
How to prepare fiddleheads
Proper handling and thorough cooking of fiddleheads can reduce the potential for foodborne illness. Eating raw or undercooked fiddleheads can cause food poisoning so it’s important to remove as much of the brown papery husk on the fiddlehead as possible. Wash the fiddleheads in several changes of water to remove any residual husk or dirt. Then cook fiddleheads in boiling water for 15 minutes, or steam them for 10 to 12 minutes until tender. Discard the water used for boiling or steaming the fiddleheads. Cook them before sautéing, frying, baking, or using them in other dishes.
The crust for this galette is my very favorite for a savoury one. It turns out perfect every time but for a quick hack store bought pie dough works great too. I’m not above using a good store bought crust or puff pastry. Enjoy either way. I did not forage the fiddleheads myself - I was thrilled to find them at my local grocery store. If you can’t find them or forage them feel free to substitute them with asparagus. That goes for the mushrooms too. I know they aren’t everyone’s favorite so either substitute with an other veggie or leave out. One thing I wouldn’t change is the caramelized onions - they add a fabulous sweetness to the galette that cannot be replaced. So if you have the time definitely do not skip that step. You will love the combination! Enjoy!
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 tbsp butter (sub with olive oil if needed)
- 1 small yellow onion sliced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup ricotta
- ½ tsp fresh sage sliced (you can substitute with any fresh herb of choice)
- 2 eggs, well-beaten (one for filling one for egg wash
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup grated Gruyere or aged white cheddar
- 1 batch of your favourite pie crust recipe or frozen store-bought (homemade recipe below)
- 2 cups fiddleheads, trimmed, washed, blanched, drained
- 1 tbsp of sesame seeds (for a little texture on the crust - optional)
For fiddle heads
- Trim fiddle heads and rinse really well.
- Steam them for ten minutes or boil them in water for 15 minutes then drain and place in an ice cold bowl of water. Then drain and dry.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter in a medium skillet on medium heat.
- Add onions and cook spreading them out evenly over the pan, stirring every few minutes, for 15-20 minutes until caramelized. You may have to reduce the heat to medium low during the process to prevent them from burning, depending on your stove.
- Remove them from the pan and allow to cool.
- In the same pan drizzle in the remaining tbsp of olive oil and add in mushrooms and garlic garlic. Saute for 3 minutes, until just softened and fragrant. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, add one of the beaten eggs, the ricotta, cream, Gruyere, sage and caramelized onions. Stir to combine well.
For the crust & assembly
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Roll pie crust out on a sheet of parchment in an uneven, rustic-looking circle. Transfer to a baking pan or sheet.
- Transfer the cheese and onion mixture to the center of the pastry. Gently spread it out to almost 2 inches from the edges. Now add the mushrooms and garlic mixture evenly over cheese then add the fiddleheads, gently nestling them into the filling.
- Fold up the crust edges, and brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional)
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
Shortcrust Pastry Recipe
- ½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- Cut the butter into small cubes and place on a small plate.
- Freeze for 20 minutes.
Food processor method
- Pulse the flour and salt together. Add the butter and process for 10 continuous seconds, until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and process for 5 seconds. Add the ice water and process for 20 seconds. The dough should now start clumping together.
- Turn the mixture out onto a work surface. The mixture will still be grainy but should hold together when pressed. Using your hands, gather the dough into a ball then flatten into a disk, kneading it as lightly as possible.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add the butter and the egg, cutting into the flour using a pastry cutter or your hands until the mixture has a pea-like consistency. Drizzle in the water and continue cutting just to combine. Gather the dough into a ball then flatten into a disk, kneading it as lightly as possible.
- Roll dough as needed, or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the dough for up to 1 month, wrapped in a plastic wrap and placed in a freezer bag.