Sunday, July 18, 2010

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Galette

Pie crusts and pizza dough give me so much trouble. I don't know why, but I can never get them to spread as much as they should ... until now. I don't know if it's because I finally invested the $10 on a pastry blender or if it's simply that this recipe is amazing. Either way, it was a pleasant change! Of course, the only problem with making your own crust is that letting the dough rest does get a bit time intensive, so if you plan on making this, give yourself some extra time.

I made one major change to this recipe. The original called for ricotta. While ricotta is good, it's not one of my favourites, so I opted for some herbed goat cheese instead and skipped topping with basil as there were already herbs in the cheese. It does overpower the zucchini slightly, but I think that's okay! If I were to make this again, I'd probably also add a squirt of lemon juice or maybe some zest over the top.

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Galette (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
(Crust adapted from Williams-Sonoma, filling adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated tart)

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water
1 large or 2 small zucchinis
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
125g goat cheese (I used with fine herbs)
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

1. Place the flour in a large bowl and put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Cut the butter into cubes and put back in the fridge. If you don't have access to cold water, stick 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and put in the freezer as well (not long enough for it to freeze though!).
2. Whisk together the flour and salt.
3. 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.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture.
5. 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.
6. Cut the zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. 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.
7. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside.
8. In a separate bowl, mix the goat cheese, Parmesan, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
10. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round (I did this on parchment paper and then just transferred the parchment paper to the baking dish once everything was on it).
11. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border.
12. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the cheese in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge (I started in the middle, it worked as well).
13. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini.
14. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.
15. Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
16. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil or lemon if desired, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

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