Sephardic Recipes With A Modern Twist

Sephardic Spice Girls

Galette Recipes We Got From Our Mamas


Galettes are a French pastry that can be filled with any topping, sweet or savory.

Someone wise once said, “Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.”

Rachel’s turn: With time, I see how the lessons that I learned from my mother have influenced me in so many ways. My dedication to my family and kitchen, my stamina for hard work, the advice I give my children and, most importantly, knowing how to love unconditionally.

I’m still awed that she would start to cook on Fridays at 4:30 a.m., go to work all day and then serve us beautiful Shabbat meals. Nowadays, I cook for my parents. I try to replicate her dishes but my father says that they’re never quite like hers. She is a master home chef who learned from her mother and grandmother. And although I always helped her in the kitchen, I never paid close attention until about 10 years ago. Now I am passionate about Moroccan cooking and look forward to compiling a family cookbook that will ensure the preservation of our incredibly rich Sephardic heritage.


Sharon’s turn: My mother is a strong, creative and accomplished woman. The most valuable gift she has given me is my love of reading. The most invaluable lessons she has imparted to me are that anything is possible, always innovate and always see the world through curious eyes. She was born in El Azair, Iraq. She grew up in Israel, where she was a schoolteacher. She emigrated to Sydney, Australia, where she partnered with my father as a women’s clothing retailer and manufacturer. Then started all over again in Los Angeles. She is a talented chef with a wide repertoire that reflects her many influences and interests. All of her meals are plentiful, delicious and healthful. Her greatest pleasure is to cook with and for her grandchildren.

We dreamed up some delicious brunch ideas to help you celebrate your beloved mothers and the other special women in your lives. Galettes are a French pastry that can be filled with any topping, sweet or savory. The rustic dough is folded over and baked to a crispy golden brown, showcasing the delicious filling.

Crust for 1 large galette
2 3 /4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
10 ounces unsalted butter
6-8 tablespoons ice water

Pulse flour, sugar and salt in food processor fitted with blade attachment until combined.

Add butter and pulse until flour resembles a coarse meal.

Slowly add ice water and pulse until dough holds together.

Place dough on floured surface and knead by hand to form a disc, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll dough into 12-inch round with rough, uneven edges.

Place dough on baking sheet and assemble galette with desired filling.

2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Crust dough for 1 galette
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup Gruyere, white cheddar or kashkaval cheese, shredded
4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut in thick slices
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup basil, thinly chopped

Sauté onions in olive oil over low flame for 30 minutes until caramelized.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Roll out dough and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spread Dijon mustard evenly on dough, leaving two-inch outer border.

Layer caramelized onions, then add shredded cheese.

Arrange tomato slices to completely cover cheese, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Lift edges of dough over tomatoes to create a casing.

Brush dough with beaten egg and bake until crust is golden brown, 30-35 minutes.

Transfer galette to wire rack to cool. Garnish with chopped basil before serving.

Makes 10 servings.


16 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted and completely drained of liquid
7 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large eggs
1 cup Gruyere, white cheddar or kashkaval cheese, shredded
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs or matzo meal
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Crust dough for 1 galette
1 tablespoon Parmesan, for dusting
1 egg, beaten

Defrost spinach and drain in colander, squeezing out all liquid using a towel.
Defrost artichoke hearts.
Caramelized onions in olive oil over low heat until a golden color.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In large bowl, combine spinach with 2 eggs, shredded cheese, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, green onions,  dill, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Roll out dough and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spread caramelized onions on the dough, leaving a two-inch outer border.

Layer spinach mixture over onions.

Arrange 10-12 artichoke hearts on top of the spinach mixture, then sprinkle with Parmesan.

Fold dough in to cover sides, then brush with beaten egg.

Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes.

Makes 10 servings.

3 cups mixed berries
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
16 ounces whole-milk ricotta
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg, beaten

Crust dough for 1 galette

Castor sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine berries, cornstarch, sugar and salt, set aside.

In medium bowl, combine ricotta, almond extract, honey and egg.

Roll out dough, place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spread ricotta mixture on dough, leaving a two-inch outer border, then add berry mixture.

Fold edges of dough over berries, then brush dough with beaten egg.

Sprinkle dough with castor sugar and bake 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Cool and serve with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Makes 10 servings.

Rachel Sheff’s family roots are Spanish Moroccan. Sharon Gomperts’ family hails from Baghdad and El Azair in Iraq. Known as the Sephardic Spice Girls, they have  collaborated on the Sephardic Educational Center’s projects and community cooking classes. Join them on Instagram at SephardicSpiceGirls, or on Facebook group SEC food.

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