Yum Yum: Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette

Forgive us if we keep going on and on about how happy we are that our favourite fruits and veggies are in season. It was a long, hard winter and our taste buds are rejoicing at the return of fresh produce.

On our latest trip to Fiesta Farms we stumbled across some rhubarb. While these pink stalks can be quite bitter, if you add a little sugar and cook them down, they make a lovely compote or a perfect companion to berries. We’re more stoked on the latter and decided to attempt a Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette.

Our galette on the fourth floor.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette
(makes three mini-galettes)
Crust:
We used Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee recipe for the crust and it turned out perfectly (go Martha). We don’t have a food processor, so we blended the butter the ol’ fashioned way – with a pastry cutter. You’ll need to make the dough at least an hour before you plan to start baking. 
Tip for making your pie crusts super flaky: Stick everything in the freezer for 10 minutes before you start baking. The butter, your pastry cutter, your bowl. We aren’t sure how it works, but it definitely does.

Filling:

2 1/2 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3/4 cup of sugar + additional for garnishing
1 tbs vegetable oil
3 cups of strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 egg

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Celsius. 

2. Cook rhubarb first to reduce excess liquid. (This extra liquid has been the downfall of many a pie crust.) Mix 1/4 cup of sugar with rhubarb and heat the vegetable oil in a pan. Once oil is smoking, add the rhubarb-sugar mix and cook for 5 minutes. Rhubarb should be cooked, but still firm. Set aside and let cool.

3. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with strawberries. Drain excess liquid from the cooled rhubarb and fold in with the strawberries.

4. Take crust out of the fridge and roll out on lightly floured surface. Spoon rhubarb-strawberry mixture into centre of crust, leaving at least an inch around each edge. Fold the “naked” edges into the centre, pleating the dough as needed. The pastry will partially cover the filling, leaving an open middle where the filling will show through. Repeat with other two galettes.

5. Place galettes on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Whip one egg and use a pastry brush to glaze the pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle the pastry with sugar.

6. Bake galettes in oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Celsius. Turn down heat to 350 degrees Celsius, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool.

7. Eat while hot or at room temperature. Goes well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a hot summer’s night.

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Companion Planting

Some of us on the fourth floor like to garden (some of us…not so much). Since we’re just learning to stretch our green thumbs, we thought we’d share some handy tips we learned recently about how to get the most out of a little plot of land. Let’s face it – in the city, we don’t exactly have one acre gardens, so every square inch counts.

 Even this tiny little pot can produce some tasty plants! Image source.

By planting certain plants together, you can help fend off pesky little bugs, attract helpful ones (like bees) and even help other plants grow better. Cool, right? It’s called companion planting. If you’re into having your own mini garden of Eden this summer, read on.  
Instead of using pesticides and herbicides to kill of harmful pests, there are easy ways to do so naturally. Better for the ground, and better for us, especially if the plants are bearing fruit or veggies. 
Planting marigolds around the perimeter of your garden will keep away beetles. They’re called the “wonder drug” of the plant world, producing a natural pesticide in their roots, which helps out almost any other plant. Plus, they’re pretty and will keep cats away from your plants too.

These lovely blooms look pretty and will make your garden better. Image source.
Often, two veggies planted side-by-side will help each other grow, resulting in more tasty eats for you. Planting asparagus, tomatoes and carrots next to each other is a good thing – asparagus comes in early (like, now) and in the meantime, tomatoes and carrots are growing away. By the time you are finished enjoying the little green spears, the tomatoes and carrots are next up on your plate. Plus, tomatoes help keep away the asparagus beetle. 

Beans are a bit of a super plant – they help out a ton of different veggies and herbs, because they attract nitrogen-fighting bacteria, which helps balance the amount of this element (too much is bad for your plants). Try planting them next to strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce and a whole host of herbs. 

 Beanstalks aren’t just good for Jack – tasty & helpful. Image source.
Speaking of herbs, these flavourful plants are also natural buddies with lots of plants. Basil and tomatoes make each other taste better, and dill, coriander, chives, rosemary and lots of others help out tons of different plants. 

 Herb gardens rock. Image source.

Basically, the more varieties of tasty herbs and vegetables you plant, the better your garden will be, and the tastier your meals. Enjoy.