October means the beginning of fall and start of mushroom season. I’ve spent many hours of the past few years harvesting, hiking and foraging wild mushrooms across the Pacific Northwest. Spending time in the forests of Southeast there is a bounty of harvest available when you know what your looking for. Always, always take a guidebook, some clean white paper for spore printing and a paper bag with a few paper towels for wrapping. Locals in Juneau recently participated in a wild mushroom identification class and even in the wet darkening days of fall there is treasure to be found in the soft moss and hidden under leaves. My favorites are chantrelles, morels and bollettes and occasionally you can find chicken of the woods growing on trees in the area. For cooking and flavor these hit it big time. Always wrap in paper and keep dry and free of smushing, I carry a sharp mushroom knife like this with me and a copy of All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms.

For the pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) ice water
  • For the filling
  • 3 small-to-medium leeks, dark green tops discarded, white and light green parts halved lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cup fresh mushrooms (cremini, white, wild if you have them)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 15-ounce can organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2/3 cup grated gruyère cheese, divided

For the Sauce:

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2Tbs flour
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon French or English Dijon Mustard (not whole grain)

Pastry Glaze:

  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Stir the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and, using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days.
Meanwhile, prepare filling: Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. To clean your leeks slice the length of the leek about a half inch into the white area. Run under cold water rubbing each layer with your thumb to loosen compressed dirt and soil that gets caught as the leek emerges when growing in the field. Arrange leeks cut-side-up in a large (9×13-inch) baking dish with cleaned and cut mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Flip the leeks so that their cut sides face down, add 3 tablespoons of water (or wine) to the dish, cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes until tender. Uncover and add chopped and cleaned mushrooms continue roasting a for 10 to 15 minutes, or until caramelized. Leave oven on. Let leeks and mushrooms cool slightly, then chop into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Toss with beans, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, 1/2 cup grated cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the sauce: In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat and then stir in flour until a paste forms. Very slowly drizzle in milk, whisking the whole time to keep the mixture smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until mixture has simmered for a couple minutes. It will be thick and get thicker as it cools; this makes for a better spread. Scrape into a bowl and stir in Dijon. Adjust seasonings if needed. Set aside to cool.

Assemble galettes: Divide dough into 4 pieces. On a floured counter, roll the first piece dough out into a roughly 8-inch round, although it really doesn’t need to be perfectly shaped. Transfer to a large parchment-lined baking sheet; I like to fold my dough gently, without creasing, in quarters then unfold it onto the baking pan. Add at least 2 Tablespoons of sauce then sprinkle about 1/4 of the prepared filling into the center of the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with about 1/4 of the remaining cheese. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, making 4 small galettes.

Bake the galettes: For 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Or, if you’re planning ahead, let cool completely and refrigerate until needed. Gently rewarm before serving in a low oven.