Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Squash in a Pie

Do you need another summer squash recipe? Sure, we all do. That is if we are going to treat summer squash overflow as seasonal bounty to be savored and appreciated rather than as a locust-like invasion, something to be feared and lamented.

I used the latest offering from the CSA squash fields to make a savory galette (somewhat like this one at smitten kitchen) with ricotta and feta cheese. To keep the pie relatively light and crisp, I made just a thin layer of garlic-spiked ricotta. The squash was tossed with olive oil and fresh thyme and layered on top of the ricotta, then sprinkled with a bit of feta. The resulting pie, though it looked just as rustic and lumpy as most of my messes do, was delicately flavored. The subtle taste of the squash was not overwhelmed by the mild ricotta and the feta gave everything just a little punch.

I used my decision to make a savory pie as an opportunity to make the Yeasted Tart Dough with Olive Oil from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. I think I’ve made this recipe before (in the dark ages before I began this blog), but I may have made the version with butter that is on the same page in the book. Whatever. I decided to try it with some whole wheat flour this time, to bump up its WFQ*.

The dough is fairly easy to make, but it will require the cook to plan ahead, since it does need to rise for about an hour before it can be rolled out for your pie. The addition of whole wheat flour did not seem to negatively affect the texture. The dough is smooth and easy to work with and I could easily roll it out very thin. The baked crust is pleasantly crisp and sturdy, but tender, since it puffs nicely in the oven. The pie slices very neatly and the slices hold up well enough to consume in a casual summer dining environment, sans flatware if desired.

This was really a test of two recipes: the squash galette and the yeasted crust, and both get top marks. I hope to make many more pies with this crust recipe (there’s a sweeter version in the book as well), and the galette is a great new addition to my growing archive of summer squash recipes. At the right, I’ve added a link to a list of summer squash and zucchini recipes that I’ll keep up during the squash-flood season. I hope you’ll find inspirational if you’ve got plenty of squash to “savor and appreciate.” Now, what to do about those two big zucchini in my refrigerator…

Yeasted Tart Dough with Whole Wheat Flour
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

My directions are for stirring and kneading the dough by hand. You could also use a heavy-duty stand mixer and knead with the dough hook.

2 teaspoons yeast (or about 1 envelope-style package)
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Let stand about 5 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.

2. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a whisk or fork. Whisk in the olive oil until well-combined. Add to the yeast mixture.

3. Add the salt, whole wheat flour and about half the all-purpose flour. Stir to form a sticky dough.

4. Turn the dough out onto a kneading surface with some of the remaining all-purpose flour. Knead the dough about 4 minutes, until the dough is smooth, gradually adding the rest of the flour (or more as needed). Add just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the kneading surface. The dough should only be slightly tacky when kneading is done.

5. Form the dough into a ball. Spray a medium-size bowl with cooking spray or brush it with oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl and spray or brush the top. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough and let rise 45 minutes to 1 hour or until about double in size. Dough can be used for one 9-11 inch tart or galette.

Summer Squash Galette with Ricotta and Feta
Based on a recipe at the blog smitten kitchen

You could probably use another pastry recipe that makes a similarly sized pie if desired.

about 8 ounces summer squash (about 1 medium-large or 2 small)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon coarse salt, divided
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 medium to large garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 recipe Yeasted Tart Dough with Whole Wheat Flour (see above)
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
egg wash (egg beaten with water or milk), optional

1. If you have one, place a pizza stove on the middle rack of the oven. (If you don’t have a stone, you can bake the galette on a large pan.) Preheat the oven to 400 F.

2. Trim the ends away from the squash. Thinly slice the squash and place the slices in a medium-size bowl. Add the olive oil, thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss together to coat the squash with oil. Set aside.

3. Place the ricotta in a small bowl. Finely chop the garlic. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and work together to form a paste. Add the garlic-salt paste to the ricotta along with the pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.

4. Punch down the tart dough and roll it into a thin circle about 14 inches in diameter. Transfer to a parchment lined pizza peel or to a baking pan.

5. Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough in a thin layer, leaving about 4 inches on the edge of the circle. Arrange the squash (as neatly as you wish) over the ricotta layer. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top of the squash layer. Fold up the edges of the dough all around the galette. Brush the dough with egg wash if desired.

6. Slide the galette with the parchment from the peel onto the preheated pizza stone (or if using a pan, simply place it in the oven). Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, or until the crust is brown and crisp. Remove the tart from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes or so before slicing and serving.

Makes about 6 servings. You can wrap and refrigerate leftovers, which can be reheated in the microwave. The crust on the leftover tart may be softer, but mine did not get soggy.

Other recipes like this one: Chard Tart with Feta Cheese and Olives, Corn and Green Onion Tart with Bacon, Roasted Cherry Tomato and Olive Galette

Other summer squash and zucchini recipes on this page.

One year ago: Pasta Salad with Cauliflower and Mustard Lemon Dressing

*WFQ = Whole Food Quotient

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic crust!! I mixed 1/2 cup of kale pesto into my (overly dry) ricotta, used dill for the fresh herb, and used a lot more squash than indicated just to get it out of the fridge and it still held up perfectly. I'll be hanging on to this one. Served with a side of sauteed shallots, hen of the woods mushrooms, and fiddle head ferns. Thanks for a lovely dinner!