Sunday mornings are one of my most cherished moments of the week. I usually wake up late and then hang around in bed for another half an hour, just getting used to the idea of doing something later on in the day. I’ll settle into the morning with a large cup of steaming soy latte, made with freshly ground espresso beans and savor it until the very last drop, my belly feeling full and warm afterward. (Yes, there may be other things involved, but if I have a soy latte, that’s already sufficient!)These tiny moments of calm rest – which can last anywhere from ten minutes to several hours and can include anything from grooving along with the radio or reading the entire paper from beneath the safety of my linen – are so important to me and my energy reserves. Fascinating how you can develop a basic recipe for something, and then simply vary it according to how you are feeling that very day, and how it feels immensely satisfying and gratifying each and every time, regardless of what variation you ended up choosing.
Galettes are kind of like Sunday mornings. You can vary them according to what you feel is tasty that very moment and in sync with the contents of your pantry. The possibilities are endless, but one thing is guaranteed: they’ll taste great every time, if you follow the rules of common sense.
Following my basic recipe for gluten-free Galettes, here is a tasty variation, tribute to the ongoing asparagus season here in Germany: White Asparagus with Herbed Galettes and Swiss Cheeses (because they’re the the best kind!).Don’t be mistaken, you can use green asparagus or other vegetables. Try steamed mushrooms, peas in a minty cream sauce or broccoli and tomatoes. Of course you can also vary the type of herbs that you put into the Galette. I’m sure fresh oregano or sage would also work like a charm; dill is probably also a good idea if you like it (I don’t, hehehe). I’m sure it will look lovely if you put small twigs or full leaves, but I suggest using smaller/shorter leaves, especially for sage, because the larger and longer ones tend to be kind of thick and a bit coarse, too, aside from lacking aroma.
I love this tasty twist on savory Galettes. They look like a lot of work, but are essentially thrown together within twenty minutes and ready to be served in just over half an hour. Another perk is that you can prepare the Galettes the day before or even freeze them (I’d separate them with a piece of plastic foil just to be sure they don’t stick to one another). Together with a brightly-colored salad – I used many types of tomatoes in different colours – they make a great dish for guests! Plus, they leave room for dessert. For example, you could fry up the remaining batch of Galette batter and serve the Galettes filled with fruit compote, vanilla ice cream or Nutella. See, I told you that Galettes are kind of like Sunday mornings: tasty, beautiful and so comforting – pleasure guaranteed!
And with that, I’ll leave you with a current favorite artist of mine: Gaby Moreno. Her songs are also a bit like Sunday mornings: full of warm tones, lush beats and a comforting outcome. She’s originally from Guatemala and sings the Blues, songs in Rock and Jazz, both in Spanish and English. She’s even won a Latin Grammy!
I saw her live a few weeks ago in this living-room sized venue here in Cologne and now like here even more. I particularly appreciate her play on Peter Sarstedt’s Where Do You Go To My Lovely, which I have loved for many years. This song first saw the light in 1969 and features the intrinsic longing and sadness of bottled up love and admiration for someone who’s completely oblivious to just how much you care about them and to the lengths you would go for them. It’s a great example of concept of unconditional love, including embracing all the choices and decisions of the person you love, even if these are completely contradictory to your own happiness, and go as far as to sabotage it unintentionally. Anything to see them happy and fulfilled, no?
Moreno’s take on this song is called Illusions. I would like to imagine that, she’s referencing that like in so many situations in life, you would need an alternate universe for something to be true not just in heart and mind, but also within the current continuum of time and space. I see Gaby Moreno as the other side of the medal to Sarstedt’s song, singing back to the lonely character. Alone herself, she misses him, too, and waits for him. In the end, you don’t know who let who go and whose benefit all of this serves now anyway and it makes you question just how genuine love is if neither of can put their foot down and take a daring leap.
There is a lot to be said about first steps, about daring speaking up and about communication and actually showing affection and how they can ruin a perfectly wonderful, tragic love song.
I recommend you check out all of Gaby Moreno’s albums, because they’re all really amazing and entertaining. Don’t be fooled, it’s not just mellow melodies – her lyrics are lush and deep, she and her band can definitely rock a stage, and her voice is really very pretty. She’s still on tour. Go see her. As an extra incentive for those of you who don’t know her (yet): tickets were really affordable!
White Asparagus with Herbed Galettes and Swiss Cheeses
One half of my basic Galette recipe (makes about six Galettes)
2 tablespoons chopped herbs (I used parsley and basil)
pepper to taste
For the filling:
For the topping:
60g gruyere or Appenzeller cheese
Prepare Galette batter, as instructed here.
Peel and wash the asparagus. Heat a pot full of salted water and boil the asparagus until tender (about twenty-five minutes). The asparagus is done once it no longer tastes bitter and can be cut into pieces with a knife without much effort on your part. Drain asparagus and set aside, preferably in a colander, so that any remaining liquid can be drained, too.
Place a pan on the stove and add a dash of vegetable oil (only required for the first Galette). Ladle a bit of batter into the pan – which you should continue to heat on medium heat – and distribute evenly on the bottom of the pan (I do this with the help of a heat-proof spatula). When the Galette can be removed easily from the pan, turn over and finish baking from the other side, about half a minute. Then place Galette on a plate. Repeat the process with the remainder of the batter.
Grease an oven-proof casserole dish. Turn your oven to 200 °C.
Now, place two or three asparagus spears into a crepe, and roll it up tightly from the side. Place filled crepe into the casserole dish. Repeat with the remainder of the Galettes and asparagus spears, ensuring the Galettes are wrapped tightly (you don’t want them to fall apart later, do you?)
Grate the Swiss Cheeses and distribute evenly over the filled herbed Galettes. Place the casserole into the oven and bake between fifteen and twenty minutes, by which the cheeses should have melted and begin to brown lightly. Serve immediately and enjoy!