Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rustic Vegetable Galette with Creamy Ricotta Cheese Filling


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Like the rest of the country, we had a bit of Fall teaser here.  Just a little teaser and then the summer like temperatures decided to make one last visit.  We've been hearing about the devastating fires in Austin.  There is a ban on bbq'ing in city parks of Houston.  It's time.  It's time for the rain to come.


I made this Zucchini and Squash Galette a few weeks ago.  It earned a thumbs up from this Kenney family.  Hopefully, this will be the last summer recipe before the winds begin to blow and the rains begin to pour.  The ricotta filling is delicious with the added herbs and touch of honey.


Because the mornings are cool and crisp (in Houston, early means 6:30am early!) I love to grab my camera and head out to the lake on the weekends.  At first glance everything looks dry and parched.



But, if you walk quietly, and really look closely, life is teeming just below the blowing dry grasses.  Bees are busily collecting their nectar.  Small tiny bursts of lovely lavender colored flowers are waiting for someone to discover that they are there.


It's wonderful to see such soft hues in the summer time and find that recipes often mirror the outdoors.


I can easily lose myself in making these many tiny discoveries.  People ride their bikes, jog, walk briskly right by all of this.  These tiny little packages of color and beauty are right under the grasses and in between the dry patches.


This galette is definitely something we will throw together again.  I really enjoyed the touch of cream cheese in the crust.  Different herbs could change the flavor and any assortment of vegetables could be substituted according to what is fresh.


As I move (slowly) down the road of photography, something left its mark that I read recently.  A professional photographer was giving advice to novices.  He said that there is NO need to go and look for interesting things to photograph.  Just always have your camera ready and open your eyes a little wider and interesting things to photograph will jump right out at you.


He was absolutely right.  Everything has been looking dry and scratchy lately with our lack of rain.  I did just what he recommended.  I poked around our nearby lake area.  And...lost myself in all of these tiny enchanting discoveries.



Everyone should do this.  Yes, make this delicious galette.  It really was quite tasty.  We've made it twice since.  But, what I mean is everyone should grab their cameras.  Don't be shy.  Poke around in the woods, or the yard, or the local park and find little packages of delight.


The winds will blow soon.  And the rains will come.  But so many little wonders are surviving and thriving and calling out to be noticed.





They must have known I had not yet shared this summer galette with all of you.  So they are persevering and holding on to the delightful colors of their season of bloom.


I can't wait to go back out early in the morning to see what else is out there waiting for some attention.  I haven't been able to catch one of those adorable rabbits, who zoom away from me as I walk past, not realizing they are there.


The swans are gone.  Do you remember the swans?  You can see them here.  I wonder where they have gone?   I wonder if they sense a change in the air?  I wonder where they came from to our lake this summer.


Enjoy the last days and weeks of this beautiful September.  We celebrated a birthday over here.  Patrick is a September birthday.  Oh boy, and was it a doozie.  I have a lengthy article coming up about the rollercoaster of a birthday he experienced.  


My Riley is an October birthday.  We lived in Michigan when he was born.  Michigan shines in all its glory during the month of October.  I don't know if I have seen more beautiful October colors than in Michigan. Riley is going to have a  treat for his birthday.  I'll just give one hint.  It involves... something chivalrous in a foreign land.

Zucchini and Squash Galette with Ricotta Cheese filling
(adapted from the blog  Naturally Ella)
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • 2 oz cream cheese, chilled
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of ice water
  • Filling:
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella

  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water

  • Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • fresh basil (or whatever fresh herbs you have on hand)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor (or a medium bowl) combine flour and salt for crust. Pulse (or cut) in butter. Once butter is mostly into small chunks, pulse (or cut) in cream cheese. Once butter and cream cheese are in pea size pieces, pulse in 1/4 cup of water until dough begins to come together (adding a 1 tablespoon of water extra as needed.) Remove from food processor and shape into a disc (without handling the dough too much.) Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator.
  2. To make the filling, spread zucchini and squash onto several layers of paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let drain for 30 minutes. After that time, gently blot the zucchini and squash- set aside. (Snippet's note:  For my second galette, I sliced the veggies hours earlier and then put them in the refrigerator.  I didn't pat them dry again after taking them out of the refrigerator.  This is important to get all of the moisture out because it can make the galette crust soggy as it cooks in the oven.)
  3. For the ricotta mixture, whisk together ricotta, egg white, garlic, honey, thyme, and cheeses- set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 400˚.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pie dough out to a 12-14″ circle and transfer to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper (you can also do an ungreased baking sheet but it wasn’t easy to remove the final product.) Spread the ricotta filling evenly over the pie crust, leaving a 2″ border around the edge. Next, evenly arrange the zucchini/squash into an overlapping pattern on top of the ricotta filling. Fold over the edges of the crust, pleating as needed to make and even circle.
  6. Combine the egg yolk/water and brush the outer edge of the crust. Drizzle olive oil on top of the zucchini/squash and place in oven.
  7. Bake galette until crust is golden brown and the cheese has puffed- somewhere between 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil. Cut into wedges and serve. (this is great hot, room temp, or even straight from the refrigerator as a leftover!)

16 comments:

  1. I love how you found beauty in nature, even though it's been so dry. I just harvested a handful of squash from my garden that is perfect for making your galette.

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  2. I loved reading this post and the photos are so beautiful! So true about making photos wherever you are, I try to do the exact same thing :)

    And the galette looks very delicious, will try to make one with zucchinis too :)

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  3. I actually just enjoyed scrolling back and forth through this beautiful post over and over. Such gorgeous colors. The galette seems like another thing of beauty from your garden.

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  4. Really a beautiful post. I love the idea of a savory galette - I always think of fruit - but this is wonderful - thank you!
    Mary

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  5. It is definitely time for the rains to come! Every little cloud seems like a possibility, but no rain in Austin yet. Your gallette looks fantastic. I love the dill on top--so good with zucchini and squash!

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  6. Your photos are just stunning! And, this gallette looks divine!!

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  7. what beauty you've captured for us with your camera. Everything is dry and parched here too but maybe I need to look more closely and see if I can find some things which are thriving. Hopefully the wind and rain will make their way to you and to us too :)

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  8. Happy Birthday to Patrick! This galette is gorgeous and so are your late summer photos...beautiful!

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  9. Your photography is gorgeous. I'm drooling over it--and the galette recipe.

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  10. I love the part about just opening your eyes and walking around with a camera. So true. And this gallette looks so good! I wish I had seen it yesterday when I had about a cup of ricotta to use up, but I think I'll run out and get some more just for this. Gorgeous photos and so glad to have found your beautiful blog!

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  11. Hey Sarah,
    That galette is a stunner. I do love how versatile, comforting, and surprisingly easy galettes are to make. Yours looks fantastic!
    And your words about photography are right on. There is always something to capture if you just look for it. Your botanical images are beautiful - thanks for sharing your eye with us.
    -Erin

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  12. Hi Sarah,
    lovely recipe and lovely post. I wish I could go wandering around, taking pictures as well, but unfortunatelly here it is raining so much that any trip is a bit painfull both for me and the camera. Thanks for sharing the gorgeous pictures.

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  13. Oh-My-Word...This post is simply stunning, Sarah! We've been doing some outdoor work and connecting with nature, too :) Your gorgeous galette looks irresistible--Love the touch of honey.

    Breath-taking pics :)and Happy B-day to Patrick!

    Hugs,

    Aldy.

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  14. What a wonderful intertwining of your galette creation and nature's beauty!! Terrific and sumptuous post!!

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  15. This galette is beautiful! I love how the yellow and green zucchinis alternate and produce such a pretty pattern.

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  16. The galette looks like summer all tucked in and ready for bed..it's wonderful! I make a chicken pot pie with a cream cheese crust that's everyone's favorite...I don't think they're used often enough. I can't wait to try yours...in galette form!
    Wishing you raindrops and roses...
    xo J~

    Lovely images btw...

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