fig galette with lamb and caramelized onions

galette with lamb, caramelized onions, and fig

Figs typically have two seasons—one toward the beginning of summer, when you're composing that long list of all the things you want to do, and one at the end of summer, when you're staring at your list, whose original items have not been crossed off, and which now has five new items (although you have accomplished two of them! But you added those two after the fact, just so you'd have something to cross off).

So while my first fig galette post of the summer was redolent of potential and excitement, this particular lamb galette doesn't have its head in the clouds—it means business... but in a fun way! It's the kind of galette for getting stuff done, but it's not so practical that we're in winter weeknight dinner territory quite yet. This one is made for a nice outdoor dinner with friends, maybe a picnic or just a meal on the porch. So once they show up again in the markets, grab all the figs you can while you can, and make this summer count.

galette with lamb, caramelized onions, and fig
galette with lamb, caramelized onions, and fig
fig galette - caramelizing the onions
fig galette - caramelizing the onions
fig galette - caramelizing the onions

Just a few notes about caramelizing onions before I get to the recipe:

Feel free to caramelize the onions however you'd like. I've written out the method I've been using lately, but your favorite onion caramelizing method will work fine. Just remember that onion caramelization takes time. You don't want to simply "blonde" the onions—instead, you want them to be jammy and deep brown all the way through. This can only happen by going somewhat slowly. The photos above give you a sense of what to look for as they cook. You might be tempted to stop once they look like the second photo, but this galette is delicious with more intensely caramelized onions.

But even more important than that wonderful caramelized taste, if you don't let the onions get dark enough, not only will the flavor be off, but the galette might get soggy, and it will probably look kind of awkwardly bulky. Onions give off a ton of water as they caramelize, which means that you'll end up with about 3/4 cup once all is said and done. If you don't let them caramelize long enough, they'll make up way too much of the galette, and they might give off some water as they bake.

galette with lamb, caramelized onions, and fig

Galette with lamb, caramelized onions, and figs

download a PDF to print
serves 8
active time: 40 minutes
total time: 3 hours

for a sweet variation, try my dreamy fig galette

caramelized onions

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 450 grams (1 pound) sliced onions (about 1/8-inch thick).

  1. Caramelize the onions with your preferred method, so that they end up really deeply brown and jammy (see the third photo of the onions above). You should end up with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of onions. Here’s how I do it: Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the onions and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they become a little brown at the edges, and a film starts to develop on the bottom of the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir.

  2. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low, and then deglaze with another tablespoon of water and scrape the bottom every time a film starts to develop (at a lower heat, you’ll only need to stir every 5 to 10 minutes). With this technique, it takes about 40 minutes for them to get really deeply golden brown. You will need to lower the heat as time goes on.

  3. When the onions are done, remove them and give the pan a rinse, but don't wash it (you'll use it for the lamb).

all-butter crust

  • 180 grams all purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 10 tablespoons (142 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 tablespoon cold water (or a few more drops, if necessary)

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and use the tips of your fingers to work pieces of butter into the flour. Stop once most of it has been worked into the flour, but some pieces are left in big, lumpy, flat chunks. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

  2. Add the cold water into the butter/flour mixture, and stir together until it forms a ball. Place the ball in plastic wrap, close it up, and use the pressure from the plastic wrap to form it into a flat disc with smooth sides. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes, while you work on the lamb.

lamb

  • 1 teaspoon oil

  • 1/2 pound ground lamb

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • big pinch cinnamon

  • little pinch cardamom

  1. Heat the oil in the onion pan over medium-high heat for a couple minutes, and then add the lamb and salt. Stir, braking the lamb up into small pieces, and continue to stir frequently for about 7 to 8 minutes, until any juices have evaporated, and the lamb is nicely seared (feel free to stop at any point after the juices evaporate). Turn off the heat, add the spices, stir everything together for about 30 seconds, and remove to a plate.

assembling the galette

  • all-butter crust dough

  • caramelized onions

  • seared lamb

  • 6 to 7 mission figs, cut into wedges (about 6 wedges per fig)

  • optional: cooking spray

  • 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon of water

  • optional, for serving on the side: sour cream or labneh

  1. Flour the counter, and roll out the dough to about 12 to 14 inches in diameter (flour it as you go, and keep rotating to make it an even circle). Gently wrap it around your rolling pin, and move it to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  2. Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the center of the dough, leaving a couple inches of crust around the edges. Follow this with an even layer of the lamb crumbles. Top with the figs in a star-burst arrangement (or whatever arrangement you'd like). Styling tip: start with 8 or 9 fig wedges in the center, and then place more wedges sticking out of the spaces between those. Fill in the spaces between those, and continue wherever there is space left. Hit the figs with a very quick burst of cooking spray.

  3. Fold one side of the galette toward the center (the fold should happen at the edge of the filling). Repeat with the remaining sides, and finish by tucking the final side under the first side.

  4. Preheat the oven to 425° F, and throw the galette into the freezer until the oven is ready (about 10 to 15 minutes). This will help the galette hold its shape.

  5. Brush the dough with egg wash, and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and the figs have caramelized slightly. Let it cool on the parchment for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

galette with lamb, caramelized onions, and fig

Jerusalem salad pico de gallo

Jerusalem salad pico de gallo

My favorite way to make Jerusalem salad is to salt all the veggies, let them dry brine for about an hour, and then discard the liquid that the salt draws out of them. This softens everything very slightly, but the veggies still retain a lot of crunch, and it allows the flavorful lemon juice and olive oil dressing to cling to them instead of washing away with all those juices. But as much as I love this technique, pouring ingredients down the drain always makes me a little sad, even when the spare ingredients themselves are a little sad. (Like, when I first heard Hannibal Buress' Joke about flicking pickle juice on his sandwiches, I was laughing, but also taking notes).

So that's why I sometimes prefer to really lean into the wateriness, and turn Jerusalem salad into a salsa instead of a salad, especially this time of year when I could eat chips and salsa all day long. The faintly briny tomato and citrus juice makes pico de gallo so refreshing, whether scooped up with a tortilla chip or spooned over your favorite summer grilled dishes. And this recipe for Jerusalem salad pico de gallo combines the best of these two fresh summery dishes. There's both tomatoes and cucumbers, lemon and lime juice, parsley and cilantro, and (of course!) a little dried mint, plus all the ingredients these dishes share in common. Serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips at your next backyard party, include it in your next meze menu, and if you have any leftover juice, don't forget to "flick it on your sandwiches for flavor." 

Jerusalem salad pico de gallo

Jerusalem salad pico de gallo

download a PDF to print
yield: about 5 cups
time: with a knife 30 minutes, with a food processor 5 minutes

  • 1 pound tomatoes

  • 10 to 12 ounce English cucumber (or small Persian cucumbers)

  • 1/2 of 1 medium/large red onion (or 1 very small red onion)

  • As many jalapeños (about 1 to 3) or hot peppers as you'd like, pith/seeds removed (or not removed!)

  • 1 small bunch parsley (about 1/4 cup minced)

  • 1 small bunch cilantro (about 1/4 cup minced)

  • 1 teaspoon dried mint (or 1 teaspoon fresh minced)

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed through a press or finely minced (feel free to add 1 more if you love garlic)

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

  1. Finely dice the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and hot peppers, and place them with their juices in a mixing bowl. Feel free to use a food processor to do this, but the final presentation will be rougher than carefully dicing with a sharp knife (it's a time saver though). To use a food processor, pulse each ingredient separately until it's finely chopped (be careful not to let it run too long or you'll turn it into a purée.

  2. Wash and dry the parsley and cilantro, and then finely mince them (do not use a food processor for this). Add them to the mixing bowl (reserving a pinch for garnish), along with the dried mint, lime juice, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Adjust the seasoning to taste (taste it with a tortilla chip—if your chips are salty, you might not want to add any more seasoning).

  3. Garnish with the reserved herbs and serve. If you're making this for company, you can make it the day before and it'll still be wonderful the next day. But leftovers for your own midnight snacking will stay really tasty for a few more days.

Jerusalem salad pico de gallo