The pimento cheese in this recipe is so outstanding that you’ll want to make another batch to apply to crackers or sandwiches or to stuff celery.  Using the best of summer-ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, this rustic galette is a crowd pleaser.  I feared that the crust would be a challenge, but it was a cinch.  You can defrost a frozen piecrust and use that instead if you prefer.

Galette ingredients:

2 cups white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup refined coconut oil, softened but not melted

½ cup cold nondairy milk (more or less)

1 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes, sliced about ¼ to 1/2 inch thick

Freshly ground black pepper

Basil leaves for garnish

Pimento cheese (recipe follows)

Directions:

  1. Place the tomatoes on paper towels or a dishtowel and salt them lightly.  Let them drain while you make the crust.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt and then add the coconut oil and most of the nondairy milk.
  3. Use a fork to mix the ingredients until crumbly, and get your fingertips in there to help break up any large pieces.  Squeeze a ball of dough with your hands.  It should hang together but not be wet.  Add a little more milk if it is too crumbly. Do not overwork it or it will be tough.
  4. On a sheet of parchment, roll out the dough into a shaggy 12-inch circle.  We’re going for a rustic shape, nothing too precise.
  5. Slide the parchment/crust onto a large sheet pan or pizza stone.  Spread the pimento cheese out evenly on the crust, leaving a margin of at least 1 inch.  You may have extra.
  6. Shingle the tomatoes on top of the cheese, leaving a 1 ½-inch margin. You may not need all the tomatoes.  Crack plenty of freshly ground black pepper on top.
  7. Brush the edges of the crust with a little milk or water to soften them up a bit and make them easier to fold.  Slide your hands under the parchment to help fold the edges of the crust up over the tomatoes.  We need an ample raised edge to catch all the melting cheese and tomato juices.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let cool somewhat before cutting and serving.

Pimento Cheese

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups whole raw cashews

2 ½ tablespoons plain rice vinegar

Pimento juice plus water to equal 3 tablespoons

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

1 teaspoon paprika

1 large garlic clove, chopped

¾ teaspoon salt

One 4-ounce jar sliced sweet pimentos (1/4 cup), drained, liquid reserved

Directions:

  1. Boil the cashews for at least 20 minutes in plenty of water.  They will swell as they hydrate.  Rinse them and drain them well.
  2. Add the cashews to a food processor along with all the other ingredients except the pimentos.  Blend thoroughly, stopping often to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is completely smooth and not gritty.
  3. Add the pimentos and pulse briefly.