Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Adding Some Class with Faith of An Edible Mosaic

My long time readers will remember this, but this is my first Adding Some Class with post for 2015 so let me explain.

Adding Some Class with is a series I started last year where I ask another food blogger I admire to guest post here. It was born because I have always felt blogrolls to be inadequate. Instead, why not ask my guest to demonstrate their strengths? I had originally planned to do this monthly but I have since decided that it should be more exclusive group. In fact, I featured only five other bloggers since it's inception: Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic, Alice of Hip Foodie Mom, Nancy of Gotta Get Baked, Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen and Jennifer of MealDiva. Please read them if you haven't already because they are all fantastic.

Today, I welcome Faith of An Edible Mosaic. I had seen her online in passing over the last few years but had an opportunity to get to know her better when I attended the Food and Wine Conference last month. She was one of the ladies I was fortunate enough to accompany at the lunch before the official conference activities at Shubee's. She not only attended, however. Faith moderated a food photography workshop entitled A Tale of Two Photographers with Julius of Droolius. Of course, I attended their session because I've always felt deficient in this area. I found their presentation helpful because they ignored technical items such as f-stop and aperture and gave some practical advice to improve food pictures by utilizing lighting, angles, props and shadows to the photographer's advantage. Part of the presentation was spent taking pictures of food in order to apply the concepts discussed during the seminar.

When you look at Faith's photographs, you could understandably mistake them for belonging in a magazine or catalog. Her rustic style conveys an authenticity that I've been unable to find anywhere else. She somehow maintains a balance of light and dark hues in many of her photographs. I also appreciate her blog's point of view because she has some Middle Eastern influences into many of her dishes from when she and her husband resided there for a number of years which makes it unique. I haven't even noted her dessert blog called Healthy Sweet Eats yet and she's also a published cookbook author. Please consider purchasing one or more of her books which can be found here. If that weren't enough, she also works freelance as a recipe developer, food stylist and photographer. Inquiries can be made by clicking here. I also haven't even mentioned yet that she's a talent in the kitchen as well. Dishes such as Roasted Vegetable Ravioli in Vegetable Broth, Shrimp Burgers with Scallion Mayo and Italian Sundried Tomato, Garlic, and Rosemary Chicken Hoagies with Melted Fontina Sauce doesn't even scratch the surface of her brilliance.

It is a privilege to host her today:

Hello! I’m Faith and I blog mainly at An Edible Mosaic where I share my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics. I also have another blog called Healthy Sweet Eats where I share all healthy dessert recipes (because hey, a girl needs a few options up her sleeve when it comes to dessert, right?).

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting DB at the Food & Wine Conference in Orlando last July. He was funny and kind, and we bonded over crab cakes the first time we met. (How can you not bond with someone when great food is involved, right?) I was honored when he invited me to guest post on his blog and I immediately started thinking about what to make. I knew it had to be good because DB is pretty fabulous in the kitchen.

So, let’s talk galettes for a quick minute. A galette is basically a flat pastry cake, but there are a vast amount of variations. To me (and in my kitchen), a galette usually means a free-form sort of pie, basically with the crust folded up a bit over sweet or savory filling. The end result is a very rustic-looking pastry.

Zucchini is a natural filling choice this time of year because most of us are always looking for new zucchini recipe ideas. Caramelized onion with garlic and thyme lends a bit of natural sweetness while still keeping this dish savory, za’atar adds a punch of earthy flavor, and goat cheese adds a pleasant little tang.

But the real magic of this galette is the flaky, buttery crust. Like a pie, that’s the main reason to make a galette, and also like a pie, this galette is a complete indulgence (despite the fact that it also boasts vegetables). Trust me, it’s worth the buttery splurge though.

DB, thank you so much for having me. I hope we get the chance to meet again in person soon because you are an absolute pleasure.

Za’atar and Caramelized Onion Zucchini Galette with Goat Cheese

Yields 6 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

1 1/4 cup (160 g) all-purpose flour
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2-4 tablespoons ice-cold water

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium-large onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, crushed or grated
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon za’atar
2 oz (60 g) goat cheese, crumbled
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for eggwash

Preheat the oven to 400F.

For the crust, whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until it looks like coarse meal. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, working the dough together with your fingertips just until it comes together, and only adding enough water so the dough comes together when you squeeze it. Gather the dough together into a ball and then flatted it into a disk; wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until caramelized, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can turn the heat down or add a splash of water at any point if the onion starts to caramelize too quickly. Stir in the garlic, thyme, salt, and black pepper and cook 30 seconds more. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Once chilled, remove the dough from the fridge. Lay a piece of parchment paper out on your work surface, place the dough on the prepared parchment paper, and top with another piece of parchment (or if you have it, freezer paper works even better because it’s thicker). (Done this way, there is no need for flour to roll the dough out.) Working from the center out, roll the dough out to a circle about 12 inches in diameter.

Spread the caramelized onion mixture onto the dough, leaving a 2-inch border along the outside. Arrange the zucchini on top of the onion, and brush the zucchini with olive oil. Sprinkle on the za’atar, and then the goat cheese. Fold the edge of the pastry up over the filling to create a border and brush with eggwash.

Slide the galette onto a large baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 35 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

There's a couple of things I really appreciate about this dish. First, I have yet to prepare a galette for the website, so I must thank Faith for explaining the concept. I was also intrigued by za'atar because I've never used it but she's inspired me to experiment with it.

Lastly, I highly recommend you follow Faith on all her social media channels: facebook, G+, instagram, pinterest and twitter in addition to her facebook and twitter pages for Healthy Sweet Eats.


  1. It was insane. A pleasure to know the both of you as well as an honor. A tale of two photographers was an excellent session.

  2. DB, thank you so much for having me here! I am truly honored. Meeting you was definitely one of the highlights of the F&W Conference for are just as kind as you are talented. Thanks again, friend.

  3. I've always been a fan of Faith's work - her photographs, like the ones in this post, are incredible! I love the idea of a galette - you get pie crust without worrying about it looking perfect. I'm so glad you featured Faith in your Adding Some Class series, DB!

  4. Hmmm…I thought I left a comment but it disappeared so if this is a duplicate, forgive me! I've always been a fan of Faith's blog. Her photographs, like the ones in this post, are incredible! I love galettes - you get delicious buttery pie crust without worrying about it looking picture perfect. In fact, the more rustic the better! I'm so glad you featured Faith in your Adding Some Class series, DB.

  5. Wonderful post! I too was very excited to meet the both of you, DB and Faith! I'm a fan of each of your works and you both are two of the warmest, most inviting people I've met! Such a pleasure to know you, and I feel like I am learning more and more by following along with you! I suddenly feel like making a crust!!! Drooling over the pics!

  6. Simply incredible looking galette, Faith! Wish I could have been there for your talk.

  7. Your food recipe are simply fabulous and inspiring. I will have to try Faith of An Edible Mosaic recipe for some time. Thanks :)

  8. I would really love to try this recipe for a party I'm throwing, but one of my guests is allergic to zucchini. Would eggplant be a reasonable substitute?

    Thanks so much!


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