This sweet potato spelt galette with cashew cheese is about as fancy as my home cooking will get this holiday season! I spent my entire reading and finals week eating braised beans and kale with bread or grains, or turmeric rice and beans. And I’ve got another rice and bean dish in the works for later this week, because in spite of having a break from school I’m craving that kind of simple, one-pot, grain/green/bean meal lately.
Still. It’s nice, from time to time, to make dishes that are festive and pretty and the kind of thing you’d serve at a cocktail party—even if you don’t actually intend to host or attend a cocktail party. And that’s what this galette, with its pretty alternating circles of purple and regular sweet potato, is.
As a welcome bonus, the galette is surprisingly easy to make in spite. No more difficult than a fruit galette, and particularly easy if you use a store-bought vegan soft cheese (some contenders: Treeline in any flavor, Kite Hill ricotta, or Miyoko’s classic double cream chive). You can use vegan cream cheese, too.
If you’d like to make your own cashew cheese, the recipe here will give you enough for the galette and extra leftover for crackers, crudités, sandwiches, or whatever you like (you can also use my go-to cashew cheese recipe, which makes a bigger batch and doesn’t have herbs).
I was thinking about using a savory variation of what has become my standard galette crust recipe, but I was also curious about whether an olive oil crust would work even better for a savory recipe. This was my first time trying one, and I was really happy with how it turned out! Not quite buttery enough for my taste if I were to use it in a dessert, but it’s really perfect for this galette, and it’s definitely no trickier to make than a butter crust.
Once the crust is ready, you spread a thin layer of the cashew cheese over it, and get to arranging your sweet potato slices. You could use any type, and no need to alternate varieties: I just loved the way that the purple and orange looked together. I was a little worried about having to par-bake or steam the sweet potato slices before the galette goes into the oven, but there’s no need if you slice them thinly (a mandolin is handy for that).
Cut into wedges, the galette is a perfect, elegant appetizer for any NYE gathering. And if you’re on the hunt for something bubbly and vegan to serve with it, the prosecco from Santa Margherita winery is a great choice.
My knowledge of wine and prosecco is pretty limited, but I’m always on the lookout for more vegan options for special occasions or to serve and gift to friends. Santa Margherita‘s selections are all vegan: the company abandoned the use of animal byproducts years ago, and today it employs only vegan-friendly bentonite clay and yeast- or vegetable-derived products during filtration. In addition, it works only with vegan suppliers. Santa Margherita also prioritizes eco-friendly harvesting practices and sustainability, which you can read about here.
It can be tough to source vegan drink options, and I’m so happy to have a winery on my radar that’s so dedicated to cruelty-free practices. Santa Margherita’s on the Barnivore app (along with many other options for you to celebrate with and share). I especially liked pairing the light, fruity prosecco with the tart, with its toasted crust and sweet, earthy potato filling.
Here’s the recipe.
For the olive oil spelt crust:
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup spelt rye, or whole wheat flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar + 1/4 cup ice old water
For the herbed cashew cheese:
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon thyme + 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
For the galette:
- 1 olive oil spelt crust above or a vegan savory pastry recipe of choice
- 1/2-2/3 cup as needed herbed cashew cheese (above), or a soft vegan cheese or cream cheese of choice
- 2 small sweet potatoes any color, peeled and sliced very thinly (1/4-inch thick or less)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- To make the crust, place the flours and salt into a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulsing constantly, drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture should be crumbly but not yet sticking together. Pour in the water, tablespoon by tablespoon, pulsing as you go, until the mixture is starting to clump together. Shape it into a ball, then flatten it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. (You can also do this process by hand, using a pastry cutter or 2 forks.)
- To make the cashew cheese, place the cashews, salt, and lemon juice into a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to break the nuts down, then turn the motor on. Drizzle in the water in a thin stream. Stop and scrape the bowl of the processor down and add freshly ground black pepper to taste, along with the herbs. Continue processing the cheese for 2-3 minutes, or until it’s totally smooth, adding water by the tablespoon if it’s overly thick or pasty (I like my cashew cheese to be like a thick and smooth hummus). Taste the cheese and adjust the salt and lemon as needed. Cashew cheese will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To make the galette, preheat your oven to 375F. Flour your work surface and roll the crust dough into a circle that’s about 12-14 inches across and ¼ inch thick. Carefully transfer this circle to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread about a half cup of the herbed cashew cheese in the center, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of crust at the edges.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with the oil and thyme, along with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Pile the sweet potatoes on top in an overlapping, circular pattern on top of the cashew cheese (don’t be afraid to pile them up at the center!). If you have leftover potatoes, you can roast them on a separate tray alongside the galette.
- Bake the galette for 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden shade and the potatoes are entirely tender. Allow it to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack before slicing into wedges and serving.
The galette will also work nicely with rings of butternut squash or beet. If you’d like to save some time, you can prep your cashew cheese and chill your crust in advance, simply rolling and assembling everything before you bake it. The whole galette keeps nicely for a night or two in the fridge, so you can also prepare it in advance of whatever occasion you have to share it.
Me? I didn’t have a party or cocktail gathering to serve the galette with, but I was taking mental notes on how perfect it would be for entertaining (or bringing to a friend as a housewarming gift). And I loved serving big wedges of it with soup and salad for easy meals through the week, so rest assured that the dish is more versatile than being a party appetizer. No matter how you serve it, I hope you’ll find it as pretty and tasty as I did.
Speaking of bubbly drinks and celebrations, I can’t believe that New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. I have a one-pot black-eyed pea and collard green dish to commemorate with coming to the blog later this week—not really hoppin John, but still featuring those lucky ingredients, easy, and good. For now, I’m wishing you all a quiet and restorative week.
This post was sponsored by Santa Margherita winery. All opinions are my own, and I love this company’s dedication to vegan production practices. Thanks for your support!