One of the remarkable things about this savory potato and leek galette is that it looks fancy, yet the ingredients are simple and inexpensive. The potatoes are plain old russets, the fat is olive oil instead of butter, and even though it's gluten-free and vegan, the galette is pleasantly starchy and creamy — a perfect cross between comfort food and an elegant, company-worthy dish.
It has been a few months since I had to radically change my diet for health reasons, and I recently found myself pining for my old favorites, gluten and dairy. This potato galette was an attempt to satisfy my "carb and butter tooth," and I'm pleased to say it did the trick. (I might have devoured half the galette, on my own, in one sitting. Less greedy folks will find that it serves about six.)
The recipe is inspired by a classic French potato galette or pommes Anna, but instead of layering the thinly sliced spuds with copious amounts of butter, I use a buttery olive oil. I also incorporate a single leek, which may not seem like much but it's just enough to lend a silky texture and sweet, mildly onion-y flavor. After baking in the oven, the potato "cake" is delightfully crisp on the outside and soft and creamy in the middle. It makes a lovely side dish for any meal — with eggs for brunch, with a salad for lunch, or as an accompaniment to dinner.
Potato and Leek Galette
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes or other all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and turn the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until the leeks are soft but not too browned. Stir in lemon juice, a crack of pepper, and a grate of nutmeg. Set aside.
Use a mandoline or chef's knife to cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Keep the potato slices stacked together to help prevent discoloration. (Do not rinse or soak the slices, as the natural potato starch helps hold the dish together.)
Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch ovenproof skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lightly sprinkle with pepper and nutmeg. Working from the outside-in, use a third of the potato slices to cover the bottom of the skillet with a layer of slightly overlapping, concentric rings.
Brush or rub a third of the remaining olive oil over the potato slices, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and spread half of the leeks on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the edges. Top with a third of the potato slices. Continue building the galette in layers; when finished, you should have three layers of potatoes and two layers of leeks.
Bake in the oven until golden and tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. If the potatoes start to burn before they are cooked all the way through, cover with aluminum foil and remove for a few minutes at the end of baking.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Run a spatula or knife along the edges to loosen the galette and invert it onto a dish. Serve warm, cut into wedges.
Related: Recipe Recommendation: Pommes Anna
(Images: Emily Ho)