For me, food is very much a way to express love. When I love someone, I want to cook for them (or at least put together a nice cheese plate).
So when my sister sent me a text Saturday morning asking if I wanted to meet for lunch, I had a counteroffer: Why don’t you come to my house and I’ll make us lunch?
Now, I had just picked up my third CSA box on Friday evening, so I knew I had some good food in the house. Plus, I was wide awake and my boyfriend, who is definitely a night person, was likely to be asleep for another few hours. Plenty of time to cook!
I decided to use some of the summer squash from my CSA and the garlic scape pesto that I had made a few weeks ago to make a galette. A galette is a super fancy word for a free-form pastry – sort of like an open face pie without a pan. Easy to make, rustic looking but still elegant, and my sister loves them. Plus I had almost all the ingredients in the house, with one exception. I only had wheat flour, so I adjusted my crust recipe to become a whole wheat crust. Eh, it’s better for us anyhow!
It was a perfect Saturday morning. Puttering around the kitchen to make a healthy, delicious lunch before eating said lunch outside in the back yard with two of the people I love most in the world. (I’ll ignore for a minute that my boyfriend who woke up just in time for lunch considers coffee a full meal and didn’t actually eat any of my galette. I love him anyway.)
Summer Squash Pesto Galette
For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups whole wheat, 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 plus 2 Tablespoons ice water
*Note: If you use regular All-purpose flour, you won’t need those extra 2 Tablespoons of water. The whole wheat flour seems to need a bit more liquid to come together.
2 medium summer squash, sliced into ¼ inch think rounds
About ½ cup of your favorite Pesto
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon basil leaves, torn or sliced into ribbons
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 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 30 minutes to an hour.
Prepare Squash: Spread the sliced summer squash out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let drain for 30 minutes; you’ll see the moisture start to come to the top of the squash slices. Blot the squash dry with paper towels before using.
Prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. (I do this directly on the silicone baking mat that I will be cooking it on. You can also just flour the surface of your counter.) Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (if you rolled the dough out on the silicone mat, just move that to the baking sheet). Spread most of the pesto over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch or so border. Lay the squash over the pesto in a circular pattern starting at the outside edge. Dot the top of the zucchini with pesto and sprinkle on about half of the grated Parmesan. 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 zucchini is slightly wilted and the crust is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese, and 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. Leftovers (if there are any) reheat well for lunch the next day.