Pairings: Russian River pinot a foil for sweet onions

Our wine of the week, the Bucher Vineyards 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, pairs perfectly with a sweet onion galette.|

Our Wine of the Week, Bucher Vineyards 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($40), is as appealing as a summer night, with a big bowl of stars overhead, your head rested on your sweetie's chest.

Flavors are perfectly balanced and nuanced, with hints of sweet spice mingling with dried brambles, dried herbs and a bit of licorice root. There's a buoyancy, too, a quality that rises with each sip.

The wine has broad appeal at the table, though its finest matches may be rare beef ribeye, braised short ribs, sweet potatoes and caramelized onions. Roasted sweet peppers, Fontina cheese, dead-ripe summer tomatoes and slow-roasted pork shoulder are good matches, too.

Today's recipe can be served as a main course or alongside that ribeye. For the best results, choose locally grown sweet onions.

Sweet Onion Galette

Serves 3 to 4

For the galette shell:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

- Black pepper in a mill

6 tablespoons butter, preferably local, chilled and cut into cubes

1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:

4-5 sweet onions, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds

3 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed

- Kosher salt

1 large sweet red pepper, seared, peeled, cored, and cut into medium julienne

2 tablespoons best-quality red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)

- Black pepper in a mill

- Flake salt, such as Maldon

For the galette dough: Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium work bowl, using your fingers or a pastry cutter to work in the butter so that the mixture resembles coarse-ground cornmeal. Add the ice water, gently press the dough together, and gather it up into a ball. Wrap and chill for 1 hour.

While the dough chills, prepare the filling. First, separate the onion slices into rings.

Put the butter into a wide sauté pan set over medium heat and when it is melted, add the onions and season lightly with salt. Turn the onions to coat them thoroughly with the butter, adding a bit more if needed. Reduce the heat to very low and cook until the onions are very limp and have released their sweetness.

Meanwhile, prepare the sweet red pepper if you have not already done so. When the onions are ready, add the julienned peppers, toss, increase the heat to medium, and add the vinegar and the five-spice powder, if using. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Taste, correct for salt, and add several turns of black pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Set the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface and use the palm of your hand to pat it flat. Roll it into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick and carefully transfer to the parchment.

Working quickly, put the filling into the center of the galette and spread it over the surface, leaving a 2-inch margin. Fold the margin of dough up and over the filling, gently pinching the dough as you fold. Use a pastry brush to pick up any pan juices and brush the exposed part of the dough. Sprinkle salt over the juices, set on the middle rack of the oven and bake until the galette is crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Michele Anna Jordan is author of the new “Good Cook's” series. Email her at and visit her blog at

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