Friday, August 9, 2013

Farm Fridays: Lemony Ricotta Summer Squash Galette

I meant to post this days and days ago, but I've been incapacitated by a terrible summer cold/sinus infection. I've been on the couch all week, hardly even picking up my laptop (which seems soooo heavy and requires me to actually sit up). I must be feeling a bit better, because I have the energy to work on this now. I'd better be recovering, because I really want to get going with some canning projects this weekend!

I did manage to drag myself up to the farm yesterday morning and was extremely pleased with all the produce. After several sparse weeks, things are finally picking up. The blackberries are ready for picking and they are gorgeous - all the bushes were absolutely laden with huge berries. I also picked up another delicious watermelon, lots of plump tomatoes and pounds of new potatoes. And, of course, the ubiquitous summer squash.

I know that a lot of people get sick of summer squash - once it starts coming in, it can smother you. But I'm more than happy to be drowned in squash. I really only started to eat it two years ago, and the honeymoon stage isn't over yet. There are still tons of great squash recipes out there that I haven't tried. (If the squash plants in my garden actually produced anything, I might be forced to eat my words.)

When this recipe showed up in my August Better Homes and Gardens, I knew it had to be made right away. I'm a big tart person, so a tart with summer squash sounded too good to pass up. While I do love a flaky, buttery crust, I went a bit more healthy with this one and tried out an olive oil crust. It was definitely tougher (on day one, it was difficult to bite through in places), but was much better the next day after it had softened. The filling was awesome - summer squash and ricotta cheese is a winning combination in my book. A slice of this tart and a salad makes for a delicious summer lunch.

Lemony Ricotta Summer Squash Galette
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens August 2013. Tart dough is from Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal.

2 1/2 c flour
1/3 c quality olive oil
1/2 c ice water
1 tsp fine salt

2 zucchini or summer squash, thinly sliced (the recipe says two medium-sized squash, which will yield 2 1/2 c, but my two yielded much more than that - I added all the slices I could squeeze onto the tart and then saved the rest for another recipe)
3/4 c ricotta cheese
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg yolk

Mix together the flour, olive oil, and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in the ice water until the dough clumps together into a ball. Remove the dough, divide in half, roll each half into a ball and flatten into a disc. Set one half aside for another project (I slip it into a ziplock bag and freeze it). Put the half you are using in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.

Put the squash slices into a colander and sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat. Let drain for 15 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove the tart dough from the fridge and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll it into a rough 12" circle (the dough will be tough to roll out, so I like to prep it with a Julia Child technique: literally beat the dough with your rolling pin until it begins to stretch out, then roll. This helps soften the dough without warming it with your hands)

In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses, garlic, 1 tsp olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a clean 2" edge. Top this with the drained and dried squash slices (I piled three or four layers of squash on there). Drizzle the top with the remaining olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste.

Gently fold over the edges of the crust to keep in all the filling (I also took the opportunity to fold under all the rough, irregular edges from my clumsy rolling).

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk with 1 tsp water. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the crust.

Slide the parchment and tart onto a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden and the squash is tender. Enjoy!

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