Zucchini Ricotta Galette or Tomato Galette

Got a plethora of zucchini in your garden?  Here you go, you are very welcome.  Even if you don’t, head to the grocer or market and buy some because this galette is just that good.

Galette 8

This photo is gorgeous …. but even that doesn’t do it justice.  Oh, the crispy puffy pastry, the creamy rich base …the fresh from the garden (or market) zucchini …. and the aroma as it bakes. This is a sure winner, and certain to be on repeat.

Veg Galette 3

Incredibly delicious as a tomato galette also.

Serve this with a salad for a great vegetarian meal or cut into small pieces for an appetizer, either way it’s fantastic!

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill 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
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Glaze:
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Veg Galette 2

Glazed and ready for the oven – they already look and smell fantastic.

 

Make dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. 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. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. 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.

Make filling: 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. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together 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 (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later). 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 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.

Galette 2

See …. not quite enough cutting in yet, those butter cubes are too big.

Galette 3

Small, pea sized bits now and the liquid added.

Galette 4

Do not over mix, just get it together and wrap it to put in fridge for at least 30 minutes).

Galette 7

Salt, and allow to sit for a bit in order to draw the liquid out.

Galette 5

As you can see …. I’m not the best at an exact “12 inch” circle …. but I’m working on that!

Galette 6

Mix all your cheeses with the olive oil & garlic blend … adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

Galette 1

WHAT??  Already I’m crazy about this and it hasn’t even hit the oven yet.  Yes, I need to work on my even edges … ha ha

Veg Galette

Tonight we had enough people celebrating Stella turning 6 that I needed to make 2 …. so I did a tomato galette as well as zucchini.  Both were delicious.

Be as inventive as you like with the cheeses, using the amounts as your guidelines.  With the tomato galette I used aged gouda as well as the ricotta and parmesan.  With the zucchini, tonight I had old white cheddar on hand ….  What won’t change is how amazing your house smells!  Go ahead, invite the neighbours in …..

 

Absolutely full credit (as well as the copy/paste feature) for this recipe – IN TOTAL – goes to Deb Perelman at http://www.smitten kitchen.com  – one of the very rare recipes I didn’t play around with at all …. okay except I used a couple of patty pan squash because I had them….

 

Grilled Shrimp and Cauliflower with Romesco Dipping Sauce

Cauliflower & Shrimp with Romescu
The first thing you need to know is that this sauce is A M A Z I N G.  Put it on your sandwich, toss hot pasta with it, fresh veggie dip or meat skewer dip …. it wins every time.  Today’s appetizer included these grilled cauliflower florets, lightly marinated shrimp and green onions.

Ingredients for Romesco

1 1/2 CUPS SERVINGS

  • 1 large roasted red bell pepper from a jar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Pulse first 8 ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add oil; process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Romesco can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

romescu

To use as a dipping sauce, heat through until easy to stir and warm.

 

Shrimp and Vegetables

  • 1 head of cauliflower – cut into florets
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp – tails and shells on
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 bunch green onions

Lightly steam cauliflower until just tender crisp – be careful not too overcook it.

Season with salt.

In a large bowl, toss shrimp with vegetable oil and lime juice.  Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.

Grill cauliflower, shrimp and green onions just until heated through (and shrimp is fully cooked) – try to get some pretty grill marks on there!

Arrange on a serving platter with the Romesco and dip merrily away.

 

 

Tomato Thyme Bacon Tart

Fresh garden tomatoes and thyme combined with bacon and cheese

Fresh garden tomatoes and thyme combined with bacon and cheese

Nothing screams summer like tomatoes! This tart is quick and easy to make, allowing the tomato to be the star of the show. Today’s tart was made with heirloom tomato – such a big tomato that it only took 3 slices along with a few cherry tomatoes to fill in the gaps.

This works amazingly well as either an appetizer or side dish.

Roll out 1 thawed puff pastry sheet in to 10 x 14 rectangle on lightly floured surface. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle on 1 1/2 cups cheese (gruyere, gouda and cheddar are good choices). Leave a 2 inch border on the long sides……

Crumble cooked, crumbled bacon over the cheese (4 slices)

Slice tomatoes and layer across bacon/cheese.

Sprinkle with fresh thyme, salt and pepper.

Fold the long sides over to create a border, and fold in the short ends to create a seal.

Using a sharp knife, cut vent holes in the pastry and brush with beaten egg.

Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh basil for serving.

Tomato Vegetable Soup

Feeling like a hearty bowl of soup on a cool night?  This is perfect!  

Serve with Baking Powder Biscuits for a complete meal.

1 large onion – minced                          

3 carrots, sliced

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 large potato, diced

1 small turnip, diced

1/2 cup green beans, sliced

1 cup green zucchini, quartered and sliced

1 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tbsp basil, chopped

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

olive oil

Any other vegetables are always optional, and always welcomed to a pot of soup!

Heat a large soup pot, then add just enough olive oil to cover the bottom.  Add diced onions and allow to cook long enough to soften and become translucent.  Add potatoes, carrots and celery.  Stir and allow to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes and vegetable stock – season to taste with salt and pepper.

Allow to simmer until vegetables are just barely fork tender.  Stir in green beans and zucchini and cook just until they are cooked through.  Add fresh basil and any other herbs you feel like adding!

Options:  Use more vegetable stock and add barley when the potato mixture goes in or cook some pasta separately and serve the soup over the cooked pasta.  (I like to cook the pasta separately so it doesn’t get too mushy.) If you want a chicken soup, use chicken stock instead of the vegetable stock and add some chopped up chicken with the stock.

Quinoa Couscous Salad

Here we go again – salads without exact measurements, but a general idea.  Recipes are really just ideas on a sheet of paper, what is important is taking them and making them your own – use ingredients that you love!

equal portions of cooked quinoa and couscous

quartered and thinly sliced cucumber

chopped tomato

chopped black olive

diced red onion

feta cheese

fresh basil, mint and dill

salt and pepper

DRESSING

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

6 tbsp good quality olive oil

1 generous tsp dijon mustard

1 garlic clove

salt and pepper to taste

Toss all salad ingredients together first and allow to sit for a few minutes while you mix up the dressing.  Whisk all dressing ingredients together, and toss with salad … TASTE for salt and pepper, and only add as needed – remember the olives and the feta cheese are salty all by themselves!

Feta Greek Chicken Burgers

You are going to love these Greek style chicken, pork burgers

studded with herbs and feta cheese!  

Great dinner when served with Quinoa Couscous Salad

Burgers are really just ideas … following are the ingredients in my burgers, with an approximate portion plan:

equal portions ground chicken and hot italian sausage meat (approx 1 pound each)

2 tbsp minced basil

2 tbsp minced mint

1 large minced garlic clove

3 scallions, sliced fine

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp each of salt and pepper

Lightly toss all ingredients together until just mixed.  Do not overmix your meat or it will end up with the texture of a meatloaf!  Form burger patties and place onto lined baking sheet.  Set aside, either in freezer or fridge until you are ready to grill and they have had time to rest.

Grill on greased surface until cooked through.

Serve with:

Grilled thin slices zucchini (lightly coated with olive oil, salt and pepper)

Grilled thick tomato slices (dusted with salt and pepper)

Coat each side of your pita style bun with a generous dollop of mint/dill yogurt sauce:

MINT/DILL YOGURT SAUCE

1 cup greek style yogurt

1/2 cup grated, drained cucumber

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp finely chopped dill

1 tbsp minced mint (try to say that a few times!)

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, and put in fridge to set up and allow flavours to blend.

Middle Eastern Couscous Salad

 

kosher salt

olive oil

1 1/3 cup dry couscous

2 cups water

3 tbsp chopped fresh dill

3 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

1/2 English cucumber, quartered and finely sliced

1 1/2 med size tomatoes, diced

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup really good olive oil (I prefer unfiltered)

fresh ground black pepper

Cook couscous according to directions, i.e, bring water, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp olive oil to a boil (If you want to add an extra hit of flavour use a tsp of chicken stock extract).  Once boiled, stir in couscous and remove from heat.  After 5 minutes stir and fluff with a fork.  Allow to cool.

This recipe is based on rushing home from work and wanting a tasty, but delicious quick salad – if you have the time, and inclination – go with cracked wheat and cook according to those directions.

When couscous has cooled, add to bowl along with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, fresh herbs.  Season with juice of lemon, oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Toss well and allow to sit – serve at room temperature.