This Pear + Leek Galette with Goat Cheese + Walnuts is a simple, savory free-form tart that makes a perfect Thanksgiving appetizer.
We’re less than a week away from Thanksgiving, and let me just say, I CAN’T WAIT. I’m not doing much of the cooking this year, which is essentially the same as every year. The older generations have simply not passed that torch yet, and I’m totally okay with it. My time will come, but for now, I’m just going to revel in the enjoyment of being a guest. That said, of course I can’t show up empty handed.
For one, I’m definitely bringing this Cranberry Meyer Lemon Pie because I’m obsessed and it was just too good not to make again. I’ll probably bring this Brussels Sprout + Kale Salad too, because it’s nice to have something green and raw, and it’s pretty much become a staple at Thanksgiving anymore. Or maybe I’ll make this Fennel + Onion Gratin because it’s understated and awesome. I also want to bring an appetizer, because it’s arguably the most under-appreciated part of the day, but also one of the most important.
This savory Pear + Leek Galette is the perfect appetizer to bring on Thanksgiving. It’s great served warm or at room temperature, and if you’re already going making a batch of pie crust, you might as well go ahead and make some more. This recipe walks the line between savory and sweet, which is what most of my favorite foods do. It makes a lovely appetizer for sure, but it would also be really nice served as part of a cheese coarse. Let’s be real, though. No one is serving a cheese course on Thanksgiving (but if you do, hit me up).
Thinly sliced leeks get cooked down with Dijon mustard, rosemary and a touch of cream. They’re spread onto a buttery pastry crust, topped with crumbled goat cheese, then a layer of thinly sliced pears and finished with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. It’s full of fall flavors and textures galore: The crisp, flaky crust, the smooth, creamy leeks, the tender pears and crunchy walnuts. Not to mention, it will undoubtedly be the most attractive dish on the appetizer table (no offense, veggies and dip).
I made this galette on a cool, rainy morning and we couldn’t stop snacking on it all day. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser, and transports pretty easily too. The only downside is that you won’t want to stop eating it, which will make it hard to save room for turkey!
I’d love to know what you’re planning to make this year for Thanksgiving. Are you hosting, or do you also get to revel in being a guest? Leave me a comment and let me know! I can’t wait to see what’s on your menu.
One Year Ago: Kale Gratin
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Tiramisu
Three Years Ago: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Butternut Squash, Pomegranate and Oven “Fried” Goat Cheese | How to Make Caramelized Onions (video!)
Four Years Ago: Waffles with Maple Brown Butter
This Pear + Leek Galette with Goat Cheese + Walnuts is a simple, savory free-form tart that makes a perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. Crust adapted from David Lebovitz.
For the Crust:
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 4 ½ ounces COLD unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2–3 tablespoons cold water
For the Filling:
- 1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted is fine)
- 2 medium leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced, white and light green parts only (about 3 cups)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
- 6 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1 large pear, thinly sliced (you may need 2 pears if small)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash (optional)
- Mix together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter, then use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the it into the flour. Do this until the butter is broken into pea sized pieces, about two minutes.
- Whisk together the egg and two tablespoons cold water, then pour into the flour mixture. Use a fork to stir until it just comes together, adding one or two additional tablespoons of water until it forms a ball. Do not knead the dough or mix any further. Press into a disc, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days in advance.
Filling and Assembly:
- Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add Dijon mustard, cream and 1 teaspoon rosemary. Cook until the cream has reduced by half and the mixture is thick, about 5-8 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Let cool completely.
- When ready to assemble the galette, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is about ¼ inch thick and 14-16 inches around. Gently roll the dough up on to the rolling pin and transfer it to the center of the sheet pan. It should hang off the sides slightly.
- Spread the cooled leek mixture evenly around the dough, leaving a 2 inch border on the outside. Crumble goat cheese on top, then arrange the pears in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of rosemary, salt, pepper and chopped walnuts.
- Carefully gather the outer border of dough and fold it up and over the filling to form a 1 to 2 inch crust. Brush the outer crust with egg wash if desired (this will produce a prettier, more golden brown crust).
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keywords: galette, savory, pears, leeks, goat cheese, walnuts, Thanksgiving, appetizer, pie, pastry, tart, crostata