Carrots– who knew they could be so pretty and varied in flavor? My understanding of carrots is no longer limited to those overgrown, dark orange carrots, the kind only Bugs Bunny could love, that have likely sat in the refrigerated produce section for far too long. Instead, I love sweet, fresh carrots with bright green tops, or even better– brightly colored ones like these:
In addition to the colors, I love the subtle differences in flavor: the orange ones have that soft, vegetal flavor; the yellow ones taste like squash roasted with butter and brown sugars; the white ones taste crisp and sugary. But the one issue that I have with non-orange carrots is that those flavors aren’t pronounced, let alone present, unless they’re roasted. The orange carrots are the only ones that seem versatile whether you eat them raw, boiled, steamed, or roasted. The others are beautiful to look at, but I don’t taste them unless roasted in a hot oven.
So when I saw a recipe on Smitten Kitchen for a zucchini galette, I instantly thought of varying the colors and flavors of the vegetables by shingling some carrot slices in there as well. I thought that as the pastry shell bakes, then so would the carrots and the squash, getting light brown notes of caramelization. Since I’ve never made a galette before, I set about following the recipe. Yes, I know that this is a blog about living recipe free, but I still use recipes when trying new techniques. Besides, the description of a super soft and flakey crust from the recipe as adapted from Cooks Illustrated, was too hard to resist.
Since I already was adapting the toppings, I played around with the filling as well. Since carrots are heavier than squash, I figured that the galette could handle the extra cheese that the blog notes mused upon. I varied the cheese as well, using a mix of ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and aged goat cheese. I boosted the herb flavors by mixing in lemon zest and fresh thyme in the crust as well as adding fresh thyme to the carrots and squash. Lastly, to ensure that all the vegetables got a bath in the garlic oil so that they could roast evenly, I tossed the carrots and squash in the oil, rather than drizzling it on after the vegetables get layered on the cheese topping.
Notice that the first picture showed red and orange carrots but the picture of my topping mixture only shows yellow ones? Well, umm… there’s a simple explanation. The first time I tried making this galette, I ignored a crucial step of placing my rolled out dough on the baking sheet. Instead, I stupidly, rolled out the dough, piled on the cheese mixture and vegetables then could not peel it off to place on the baking sheet without making a huge mess. The combination of a hot kitchen and my nerves being shot from a long drive through rush hour traffic from Olympia and some crappy news resulted in a near meltdown of Julie from Julie and Julia proportions (only, I hope that my reasons for my bad mood are more justified than just histrionic behavior.) John luckily saved that first tart, but let’s just say the end result wasn’t too picturesque. I vowed to make this again the following week and here we have it. This was so delicious– the crust was indeed light and flakey, the cheese was soft and gooey but had the delicious tang of the goat cheese, and the vegetables were crisp yet sweet. A big wedge of this galette and a side salad made for a wonderful mid-summer dinner. I hope they will do the same for you too.
- 1.25 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in freezer for 30 minutes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
- 2 medium summer squash, sliced on a bias into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3-4 yellow, red, or white carrots, sliced on a bias into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced (yields about 1.5 teaspoons)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated aged goat cheese (or you could use a soft chevre here)
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon each, chopped fresh basil and thyme
- salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until butter is distributed throughout flour, leaving only pea-sized crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, ice water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and thyme. Add this wet mixture to the flour and butter and use a wooden spoon to stir together until just combined. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
While dough chills, lay out the squash slices on a paper towel lined plate and season with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt. Let this sit for 30 minutes then dab away the released moisture with a paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the garlic and olive oil and set aside. Combine the carrot slices with the squash in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of garlic oil and 1 tablespoon of thyme. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Gently toss with your hands to mix together.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with either a silpat silicone sheet or with parchment paper. In medium bowl, combine the cheeses with 2 teaspoons of the garlic oil mixture until mixed. Roll out the dough to 12 inch diameter and carefully move it to the baking sheet. Spread the cheese mixture out on dough surface, leaving a 2 inch border. Shingle the carrot and squash slices in a pretty pattern (or when you’re like me, do this until you lose patience then pour the remaining slices in the center and spread them out.) Fold the dough edges to meet the cheese, shaping into a rustic tart. Brush the crust edges with the egg yolk and water mixture then bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden and flaky. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before sprinkling with basil and slicing into 6 wedges.
CSA Count: 3
Basil, yellow carrots, summer squash
Garden Count: 1