Rustic Zucchini Galette

This recipe is adapted from one recently posted on smitten kitchen — very barely adapted. It is so delicious though, that I had to post it here. Naturally, I changed the white flour out for spelt flour and I made a few other minor tweaks — other than that, it's the same. I'm calling it rustic, because it doesn't look nearly as pretty as Deb's does, but no matter, it tastes divine. Although the instructions look a bit complex, do not be intimidated! This does involve several steps, but it's actually quite easy and well, well worth it. The pastry shell itself is so light and flaky even using the spelt flour — and the nuttiness of the spelt compliments the ricotta cheese, garlic and basil beautifully. Enjoy!

Rustic Zucchini Galette adapted from smitten kitchen

Serves 3

For the pastry:

1 1/4 cups spelt flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes 1/4 teaspoon salt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled again 1/4 cup sour cream 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup ice water

Filling:

1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup ricotta cheese 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella 3 tablespoons slivered basil leaves

Glaze:

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry cutter, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. Or mix in your food processor.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Make filling: Spread the zucchini out over clean dish towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, 1 tablespoon of the garlicky olive oil together, and 1 tablespoon of the basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, or if you have a pizza stone I recommend using that. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.

Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with remaining basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Nuggets

Zucchini are the best known of the summer squashes and are high in cancer fighting compounds. They are particularly healthful during summer months because of their high water content and high amounts of carotenes, which are helpful in protecting against the damaging effects of the sun. They also contain good amounts of vitamin C and potassium.

Basil is a potent healing food. It has been used medicinally as a digestive aid, as a mild sedative and for the treatment of headaches. The oil of basil has antibacterial properties and it is effective in treating intestinal ailments. It contains flavonoids that protect against free-radical damage making it an important anticancer food.

Garlic is a nutritional powerhouse and has many medicinal properties, which are thought to be largely the result of the sulfur-containing compounds it contains. It has high levels of trace minerals, particularly selenium. Studies have shown that garlic decreases total cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL, which is protective against heart disease. It has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Garlic has been used throughout history to fight infections. It is antimicrobial due to the sulfur compound allicin, which has been shown to be effective against colds, flu, stomach viruses, as well as stronger pathogens. Garlic appears to be protective against some cancers. Studies have shown that as few as two or more servings of garlic a week may help protect against colon cancer.