We originally created this recipe to share on our fellow blogger’s Brendon the Smiling Chef‘s beautiful site, where he elaborates delicious recipes in Sydney, Australia. In turn, Brendon will soon share one of his favorite dishes with us!
I took my gun and vanished.
This song gives me the chills as I drive through the green pastures surrounding our cottage. Slowing down on the curvy road, the trunks of pine-trees turn to gold with sunrise. It could almost be the set of an old Hollywood movie, like the ones you see at the Universal Studios train ride. Vibrations rhythmically bounce around me inside the car as Leonard Cohen’s version of The Partisan takes my mind back in time with its descending steps of bass notes and arpeggio motif on guitar strings. His voice is dark like the deep of these woods.
she died without a whisper.
It’s an English version of La Complainte du Partisan, a French resistance song from the second World War. At the time the Germans occupied the country, thousands of Jews, resistants, Communists… found shelter and hid in these very hills I drive by, these sleepy farms and villages like Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, where they survived thanks to the wilderness and the local villagers.
the frontiers are my prison
The song conjures so many images and feelings, things that I would rather not think about but that cannot be forgotten. I ask myself what it would have been like to be here 70 years ago, to be on the run from the Nazis and the collaborators. I can feel that the relationship to memory here is somewhat different. The soil was wounded in its flesh. The trees and walls and windows and fences would have stories to tell. Terrible stories. Beautiful stories too. It is an odd thing to wander around the silent remnants of anonymous, faceless crimes and rescues.
Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we’ll come from the shadows.
Squash, beetroot & ricotta
+ chestnut & rice flour gluten-free crust galette | Serves 4-6
The gluten-free crust:
- 75g chestnut flour
- 125g half-full rice flour
- 20g ground toasted hazelnuts
- a pinch of salt
- 125 butter, cold & diced
- 1 egg yolk (app. 20g)
- On a clean work surface, sift the chestnut flour, the rice flour and the ground hazelnuts. Add a pinch of salt and mix roughly. Add the cold diced butter and cut in the dough, sweeping up and gathering the blend in your hands and gently rubbing them against each other until the butter is integrated into the dry ingredients.
- Form a well and add in the egg yolk. Mix until it forms a homogenous dough, kneading as little as possible. Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for 30 min.
If you have a stand mixer, sift the powders and add the chopped butter directly in the mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed with the paddle until the blend gets the desired consistency. Then add in the egg yolk and keep beating until it starts forming a ball. Finish smoothing out by hand, shape into a ball and flatten it down. Wrap in film and refrigerate.
The squash, beetroot + ricotta filling:
- 2L beef or vegetable stock
- 2 medium-sized beetroots, peeled
- 1/4 butternut squash, peeled
- 4 tbsp fresh ricotta cheese
- a few rosemary sprigs
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1-2 tbsp liquid honey
- olive oil
- fleur de sel & black pepper
- In a pot, bring the stock to a boil and cook the peeled squash for app. 25 min or until soft, remove it and cook the peeled beetroots the same way (for app. 25 min or until soft). You can also cook both vegetables together but your squash will get colored by the beetroot.
- Strain, leave to cool and cut into thin slices.
- Dust your work surface and roll out the dough into a circle until it is app. 3 mm thick (no need to trim it). Poke holes with a fork and transfer onto a sheet of parchment paper and a baking sheet. Lay out the vegetable slices on the crust, alternating between squash and beetroot and leaving an app. 3 cm edge to fold.
- Add spoonfuls of fresh ricotta cheese, rosemary sprigs, sunflower seeds and drizzle with honey & a little olive oil. Season to taste. Fold the edge all around the galette.
- Bake for app. 30 min in a preheated oven at 190°C or until the dough is crunchy and the vegetables nicely colored.