sylvia ashby

Galette with Ricotta, Aubergine and Fresh Herbs


There is always ricotta in my fridge. Sometimes, like in this recipe, a tub or two of ricotta feeds the whole family.

Before I start, I’d like to issue a warning: the dough in this recipe is a bit of a genius discovery on my part. And as it usually happens with genius discoveries, it was accidental.

I try to be healthy in my cooking using wholemeal flour wherever I can, combining it with white flour for best results. This works out OK for dough with yeast or baking powder in it, but in galettes there is no raising agent. The raising happens from pockets of butter forming between thin layers of dough, which swell out while backing and give the finished galette flakey consistency. Wholemeal flour, however, is a bit on the heavy side and butter can’t always lift it. As a result, my healthy galettes were often dense and though.

Two years ago I was distracted while making a galette. I only realised I’d mixed my wholemeal flour with self-raising flour after it was already in the oven. I stared at the self-raising flour packet for a second, then shrugged. What’s the worst that could happen from putting a bit of baking powder in a dough?

Instead, something magical happened: my wholemeal flour galette was finally flakey! That little bit of self-raising flour had given it the inspiration to be a better dough. I never baked wholemeal flour galette with normal flour again.


Galette with Ricotta, Aubergine and Fresh Herbs

190g/1 1/4 cup* wholemeal flour
60g/1/3 cup self-raising flour
120g/3/4 cup cold butter
60ml/1/3 cup cold water
2tbs lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
a handful of finely chopped herbs (basil, mint)

1 eggplant
1 tub ricotta (250 g)
30g/1/2 cup chopped basil and mint
3tbs olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

In a food processor put the butter, cut into cubes. Add wholemeal flour and self-raising flour and pulse until coarse crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor rub butter and flour with your fingertips.

Transfer into a bowl and add water, lemon juice, and herbs. With fingertips again (to keep it cold) knead dough until it forms a ball. Roll out to a thin (5mm) round circle and put on a baking sheet. Galette is free-form so any baking sheet will do. Put in the fridge while working on the filling.

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Cut the eggplant into rounds and fry gently in olive oil.

In another bowl mix ricotta, salt, pepper, and the fresh herbs.

To assemble the galette spread the ricotta in a thick layer in the middle of the dough. Leave about 5cm to the edge for folding over. Arrange the eggplant circles over the ricotta, then fold over the dough edge crimping it where needed. Galettes usually have rustic appearance, so don’t worry about neatness or accuracy.

Bake in the oven for about an hour or until golden brown.

This galette could be eaten hot or cold. Enjoy!


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