Remember how much I love zucchini? How about how much I love open-faced tarts? This was made for me.
I’m always wary of grocery shopping in Sudbury when my list involves an item that is even slightly out of the ordinary. In the past, I’ve walked five kilometres for a blood orange substitute and have searched high and low for red cabbage. Sudbury is a working class city, meaning that it isn’t even slightly logical for the grocery store to carry a product that 95% of the population probably doesn’t give a hoot about.
What I’m trying to get at here is that, my usual optimism aside, I was absolutely positively sure that I would not be able to find a yellow squash anywhere within the city limits. I love it when I prove myself wrong.
I was standing in the produce aisle at the grocery store, looking forlornly at the pile of butternut squash sitting in the designated squash section. Then something in the zucchini pile caught my eye. Beneath the dark green exterior of my cylindrical favourite food was the bright yellow flesh of, could it be – yes! – a single, medium-sized yellow squash (also known as yellow zucchini, apparently). Excitement!
As it happens, I love yellow zucchini even more than its green-with-envy companion. Like a squash, it’s a little more dense and less seedy, and still has that fresh flavour and bright colour of normal zucchini.
One of my favourite things about zucchini (and eggplant, for that matter) is that it’s not afraid to sweat. That’s right, you heard me. I love vegetables that perspire. Using a precision that can only be described as neurotic, I arranged the zucchini slices on piece of paper towel, creating a pattern that was so pretty it became the background on my iPhone. A sprinkle of salt and voila…half an hour later those slices looked like they had just come back from a day at the beach. I dabbed their forehead with more paper towel and sent them on their way.
I like making galette because the finished product is guaranteed to look rustic and low maintenance. Plus open-faced tarts always cut beautifully and they trick me into thinking I’m eating pie. The summer flavours of the zucchini matched with the creamy consistency of the ricotta was an excellent combination.
I ate my two very large pieces of galette out on our back porch. The sweltering heat of the day had subsided and what was left was an extremely pleasant warmth that wrapped around my body like the lightest of summer sweaters. The folks in the house at the bottom of our backyard cliff were having an outdoor dinner party, and I sat back and relaxed as the music (it was the type of tune you’d play in a restaurant that Frasier would visit) and voices murmured in the distance.
I topped it all off with a refreshing glass of lemon Perrier water. Which I was going to mix with gin until I realized that mineral water is rather different than tonic water (spoiler: I did it anyways). Thanks Internets. Rookie mistake.
Recipe: Zucchini, yellow squash and ricotta galette
Adapted very slightly from Eat Yourself Skinny
– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 3/4 cup butter (a stick and a half), cold
– 1/3 cup of ice water, adding an additional tablespoon if necessary