Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

This week we take on something different. I know you’re used to seeing lots of desserts here at Needs Baked HQ. This week’s recipe is not sweet, but it’s still delicious. A tart for dinner, you say? A delicious crust wrapped around cheese and vegetables, you say? Yes, I say!

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So what is this galette thing anyway, you might be wondering. Yeah, I was wondering, too. It can be a lot of different things, but this one, as many of them are, is like a tart. But it’s a tart without a tart pan. (See here for more info.) You might notice there’s now a new category on the site called tarts, so I think you can safely assume that there will eventually be more to come.

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So why this galette? One night last weekend we were trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I remembered that I had a leftover pie crust from making the chess pie. So we discussed using that and making some sort of vegetable tart. We looked to see what vegetables we had handy and found that zucchini was our best option. So I did a little poking around on smitten kitchen, which always has great recipes, and I found this one which used zucchini.

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Since I was using the leftover pie crust I had, I didn’t use the crust mentioned in the recipe. It’s also from smitten kitchen, but it’s slightly different than the one in the recipe: a little bit of sugar, no sour cream, no lemon juice. After we settled on making this, I took the dough out of the freezer and put it in the fridge so it could defrost but still stay chilled as the recipe required. By the time I got started it hadn’t quite defrosted, so I took it out of the fridge to defrost the rest of the way.

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As far as the rest of the ingredients went, we didn’t actually have two zucchinis, we had one zucchini and one squash, but we figured they would play nice together. I used some pre-minced garlic we had, which was super easy. We actually had to go out and get all the cheeses. But, since we went for a nice afternoon walk through the neighborhood anyway, we just stopped and picked up the cheeses on the way home. We also got some sausages to have with it. I didn’t get any fresh basil, I just used dried basil which we already had.

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I didn’t do an egg wash. As you may know, I generally don’t have eggs around and I didn’t want to get any just for this. I remembered doing a cream wash before, but I didn’t have any cream either. I figured butter might be close, so I melted some butter for a butter wash.

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My wife cut up the zucchini and squash, salted it, and let it drain. (Thanks hon!) I blotted it dry and put it into a bowl to make space on the counter. I then mixed the olive oil and garlic, followed by mixing the cheese mixture.

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By this point, the dough had been defrosting for a while, so I figured it was ready. I took it out of the plastic wrap it was in and started rolling it out. It was hard to work with. It was still a little frozen, or at least really cold, as it wasn’t really malleable. After working with it for a few minutes it finally started behaving, but by that point it had absorbed a lot of flour, which I had needed to use to keep rolling it out. (I probably should have just let it sit some more, but the evening was moving forward with it or without it, and I figured the evening would go better if we actually had something for dinner.) I rolled it out on my pastry mat which has all the sizes right on it, making it easy to measure.

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I covered a baking sheet in parchment paper, and I carefully moved the dough onto it. It was a little messy, and the dough was a little weak in places, but I got it moved. I spread out the cheese mixture, arranged the zucchini and squash, and drizzled the garlic/olive oil mixture on top. Then I folded up the dough. I melted a little butter, mixed it with some water, and used it as a wash over the dough.

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I baked it for 30 minutes, but it seemed like it needed a few more, so I baked it for 5 more. The dough didn’t look quite as brown as in the pictures with the recipe. However, I did use a different dough and a different wash, so those probably made the difference. Also, the zucchini/squash juices were kinda everywhere. I don’t know if I should’ve patted the vegetables dry again right before I used them. I also don’t know if the dough being a little weak in places is why it oozed out. I blotted the top of it with a paper towel and wiped up around the sides. Then I sprinkled on some dried basil and carefully slid it onto a dish for serving.

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It looked fantastic and it smelled great too. I felt very European. And I have to say, it was delicious. Yummy vegetables, yummy cheeses, yummy dough. I was worried that the pie dough might be a little sweet, but it wasn’t. It all worked together perfectly. And the sausages were a great choice to go with it. My only real complaint was that at some point it was gone. 🙂 My wife said it was delightful, and she wished we could have one every week. She also described it as “what pizza wants to grow up to be.”

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While I don’t know if we’ll have one every week, I would totally make one again. It was fairly straightforward, very delicious, and a great answer to the eternal question of “What’s for dinner?”. It also made me want to bake more for dinner. How about you? Do you have any favorite dinnery dishes? Any savory servings to share?

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Dough recipe courtesy of smitten kitchen. Galette recipe also courtesy of smitten kitchen.

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