We landed at London Gatwick on late at night. We took a cab directed to the studio flat we had booked for a week, as a temporary solution while we looked for a flat. We quickly realised that one week wasn’t going to be enough. It became two, then three. After three weeks, which felt more like months, we had found jobs and could show the real estate people we were able to afford the one bedroom apartment we had seen and loved and wanted so badly, despite all odds. We got it, and here we are, one year later.
I remembered being exhausted to the point of not being hungry, of not being able to fall asleep. I remember getting ill from tiredness. I remember everything, after one year, and these memories seem so far in the past and yet so vivid. We are still here. Some things have changed, life is not as tough. We are learning to make it work, and to make the best of what we have. We have grown, as individuals and as a couple.
You might wonder at this point what a tart, or rather, a galette, has to do with all of this. It is while making this galette that I was recalling all of this. And in doing so, I was thinking of how food, simple food, has helped us through these first twelve months, possibly more than anything else.
Beet and Chard Spelt Galette
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the centre, add the oil and incorporate using a fork. Combine water and vinegar and add it to the flour. Knead only until a ball comes together, without overdoing it or else you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and make your dough tough. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape them into flat balls. Cover them in cling film and let them rest in the fridge for about an hour. When ready to use, remove the cling film and roll out one ball of dough on a floured surface, using a rolling pin, until you get a very thin circle. Layer it on a lightly greased tart pan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350°F and get started with the filling. Slice the beets with a mandolin and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment. Drizzle with one tbsp oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake for 15 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and set aside.
In the meantime, heat the rest of the oil in a large skillet, add the garlic and the chard and saute for 2-3 minutes, until cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, stir chia seeds with milk. Let sit for five minutes until a gel forms. Add eggs and beat until combined. Assemble your tart by scattering the cooked chard at the bottom, then layering the roasted beets on top, and finally pouring the egg-chia mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmigiano. Fold the edges of the tart shell over the filling.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is deeply browned and the filling is done. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.