Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

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Much like the tomato pie I made the other day, this zucchini galette is really delicious, and much like other recipes that I love, I’ve made it twice already in the last week.  I have extra summer squash from my CSA, so I might just make another one tomorrow.   What is a galette you wonder?   A galette is a french term for a round, flat, free-form rustic tart.

I made the pastry in the picture above and it was surprisingly easy.   The only problem I had was, once again, not reading the instructions completely before launching into the recipe.   I made my first galette the other day, intending to serve it for dinner, but I neglected to read and take into account the hour-long chill that the pastry needed before baking.   It was a bummer – not the end of the world though, because it was delicious heated-up the next day.   I actually ate a piece for breakfast.  I thought it was too garlicky for breakfast, but it was excellent for lunch and dinner.

This week we have some friends from Atlanta visiting us on Shelter Island, so I’m cooking for 16. When cooking for that many, sometimes I take shortcuts, like I did tonight. Instead of making the pastry, I used a refrigerated pie crust. It wasn’t as delicious as homemade pastry, which definitely has a lot more character and flavor, but it wasn’t a terrible substitute either. It’s so much fun having our friends visit. Kathleen is a great help in the kitchen, which slashes the prep time and it’s also a lot of fun to cook with her.

I used fresh garlic from the CSA in the recipe.  I usually use the pre-minced/chopped stuff in the jar, but freshly pressed garlic is SO much better.  I think I may be a convert. When you pull the galette out of the oven, you’ll find that the filling is nicely puffed up. It will shortly fall, but don’t worry, this is normal.

I found this recipe on a blog called Smitten Kitchen which I love to read because I love her recipes, I love her photographs, and her writing style is quite funny.

Zucchini and Ricotta Galette
Recipe from smittenkitchen.com who  adapted the crust from Williams-Sonoma and the filling from a Cook’s Illustrated tart

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

Filling:
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Glaze:
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make filling: Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.

Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Yield:  6 servings

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