Let me begin this post with a warning: Do not attempt this recipe after five. Between sautéing, chopping, cooling, rolling and baking, you’ll be lucky if you eat by eight o’clock. I would instead suggest the following: Prep the ingredients on Saturday and bake them the morning of Sunday brunch with your in-laws or friends. When you finally cut a bite from these individual galettes, you should share your labor with as many people as possible.
Personally, I found the most laborious task for this dish to be all the dishwashing. Now, this might not affect those of you with dishwashers, but I did more loads of dishes than I can remember now. I think it may have put me in a bad mood…I have to admit that when I began drafting this post, I had just pulled the plastic-wrapped pastry dough from the refrigerator, done another round of dishes, and had yet another fifteen minutes to wait before beginning the next step. But when the galette’s started baking and the smell of a buttery crust began filling the kitchen, I started to relax.
Because of its numerous steps and waiting periods, the saving grace of this recipe is that it can be served at room temperature. Again, unless you have an entire afternoon free, I highly recommend making each component the day before you plan on serving them. The dough can be made 2 days in advance. The zucchini and onion mixture can be sautéed, then cooled in a separate bowl, as well as the ricotta mixture. On the day of all you’ll have left is to roll out the dough (where I used lots of flour, though the recipe failed to mention it), fill them, and bake.
I tend to not do well with pastries or baking of any kind (yes, I’m working on it), but I was pleased that it seemed that even I couldn’t mess up this dish. The result is a flaky crust with a creamy, flavorful inside. I particularly enjoyed the addition of lemon. It hits your palette at the end of your bite – just enough to harmonize with the other flavors but not overpower them.
Individual Zucchini, Lemon, and Ricotta Galettes
Bon Appétit | October 2008
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
5 2/3 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 1/3 pounds)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fleur de sel*
Whisk flour and salt in medium bowl. Using fingertips, rub butter into flour mixture until coarse meal forms. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoonful at a time, stirring until dough forms moist clumps, and adding more water by teaspoonfuls as needed if dough is too dry. Form dough into 2 balls; flatten each into disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before rolling out.
Place zucchini in colander set over large bowl. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let drain 30 minutes. Working in batches, squeeze zucchini in kitchen towel to remove as much liquid as possible.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini and lemon juice; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until zucchini is tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup Parmesan, egg, lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Stir in cooled zucchini mixture.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out 1 dough disk to 1/8-inch thickness. Using 6-inch-diameter plate, cut out 3 dough rounds. Repeat with remaining dough. Place 3 dough rounds on each baking sheet. (Nicole note: I cut each round into thirds, gently rolled those into small circles, and rolled them out using plenty of flour. I used the plate technique only once. It’s easy enough to keep the dough in a fairly even circle, and any unevenness won’t really matter when you roll up the sides before baking.)
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Spoon 1/2 cup filling into center of 1 dough round, leaving 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch border. Carefully fold up border, pleating dough edges to create round pastry with about 2 to 21/2 inches of exposed filling in center. Repeat with remaining filling and dough rounds. Brush crusts with melted butter. Drizzle any remaining melted butter over filling in centers. Sprinkle galettes with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel.
Bake galettes 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake until crust is golden and filling is set and begins to brown, about 25 minutes longer. Run spatula under galettes to loosen. Let rest 5 minutes. do ahead Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Serve individual galettes hot or at room temperature.
*A type of sea salt; available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.