Zucchini, yellow squash and ricotta galette

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.

Pre-oven galette lovin’ (galetteagram)

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
Crust:
– 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

Filling:
– 1 medium zucchini
– 1 medium yellow summer squash (also known in Sudbury as yellow zucchini)
– 1 clove garlic
– 1 cup ricotta cheese
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1 egg white
– 1/2 tsp dried thyme
– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
– 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Egg wash:
– 1 egg yolk
– 1 tsp. water
Topping:
– 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
– Fresh basil, finely chopped
In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt.  Use a pastry cutter or two steak knives to cut in the cold butter until mixture is a series of course chunks Then mix in 1/3 cup of ice water.  Feel free to add an additional tablespoon of water, if needed.  Shape dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap in place in the fridge.
While dough is sitting in the fridge you can make your filling.  Slice zucchini and squash, laying out your slices on sheets of paper towels.  Sprinkle a little salt on each piece and sit for 30 minutes, allowing paper towels to soak up the water.  Blot dry after the allotted time has passed and set aside.
For the filling, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg white, garlic, honey, thyme, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly flour your surface and roll out you dough until it is a 12-14 inch circle.  Place rolled out dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and spread ricotta mixture over dough, leaving about 2 inches from the edge.  Arrange zucchini and squash over top of the mixture, overlapping as needed and fold over the edges of the pie crust.  You want your pie to look like an even circle.
Whisk together egg yolk and a teaspoon of water and brush mixture over top of the crust.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and place pie in the oven for about 30-35 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle fresh basil.
Makes about 8 servings, depending on how big your pieces are. I have a chunk of my galette to my two friends Ian and Jen.
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