Yesterday was beautiful … and bittersweet.
The first snow of the season happened, in midst of the October eruption of golden leaves
and fall prairie flowers. The familiar changes are always, to me, a bit startling and therefore so entrancing, creating magical landscapes in the tiniest and grandest of details.
The afternoon before I had been sweating in the garden, digging the last carrots, cutting bunches of chives and lemon thyme, weeding a bit, eating the last strawberry … reveling in 77 degree temperatures.
I had a vision of a recipe I wanted to make, using the gluten free pie crust recipe from the new Pachamama’s Beautiful Food cookbook, leaving out the organic sugar and adding some herbs – filling the crust as a country style, heaping full vegetable galette with the heap of late summer squashes I had brought home from the farmers market. I had discovered tiny beauties – half dollar sized fully ripened patty pan squash, as well as young yellow squash and the ribbed romanesco zucchini – Zumoni Gardens in Fort Collins, Colorado always has top quality organic produce. We had become farmers market friends after I nearly cleaned them out of pickling cucumbers last year, for my yearly kosher dill pickle extravaganza.
I was inspired by the change in weather, so delved into making my idea come to life. I’d steeped basil leaves in a small jar of olive oil a few days before, and used that to sauté the squashes, red onion and garlic from my garden, and a sweet red Marconi pepper from Folks Farm and Seed.
The lovely crust recipe receives a generous handful of snipped chives and lemon thyme leaves, and sharp white cheddar is scattered over the center of the rolled dough before mounding the sautéed squash olive mixture on top.
I chose to make this recipe into a galette – a rustic pie with the edges folded up around the filling rather than formed in a dish – but you could also allow the dough to lay flat, and the filling as well, then crimp the edges too before baking.
The fragrance of the galette is marvelous – especially from tucking a few leaves of the last of the basil here and there, tomatoes too, plus green and kalamata olives …
It’s thick, and hearty, and of course could hold all manner of fillings as you like.
But these are so delicious!
Rustic squash, olive and cheddar galette
Makes 6-8 generous servings. You’ll need a large round 12 inch pizza pan, or baking sheet pan.
- 2 1/4 c. Pamela’s Gluten Free Artisan Blend flour, or your favorite
- 1/4 c. organic yellow cornmeal + another tablespoon or so for baking pan
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/3 c. or more minced fresh herbs, such as chives, thyme, basil
- 3/4 c. cold butter
- 2 large eggs for crust, 1 additional egg for brushing crust if desired
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Whisk dry ingredients together, including herbs. Cut cold butter into dry ingredients – to small pieces with a mezzaluna or fork until the mixture is crumbly with some larger, pea sized chunks remaining. Whisk liquid ingredients together, then stir into dry ingredients until mixture holds together. You may need to add a few drops, a little more water – I like to bring the dough together with my hand in the bowl, rolling it into a ball and kneading very lightly. Sprinkle a bit more flour, just a little – if the dough is sticky. Then press dough into an approximate 6 inch round, wrap and chill for an hour, or even overnight. When you’re ready to make galette, pull dough from refrigerator and allow to rest for a few minutes before rolling.
- 5 cups (or so) mixed summer squash, such as patty pan, zucchinis, washed and sliced
- 1 c. sweet red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 c. red onion, sliced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
- 1/2 c. mixed olives, kalamata, green – your favorites – sliced
- 1/2 c. minced fresh herbs – especially chives, thyme, basil and/or rosemary
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- a scattering of dried chili flakes, if desired
- olive oil for sauté
- a few cherry or other small tomatoes, washed and halved – 3/4 to 1 c.
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 c. shredded sharp white cheddar, or provolone – or dairy free cheese
Sauté onion and pepper, adding squash and garlic a few minutes in. Allow a bit of browning to occur before stirring, when vegetables are *just* beginning to soften, about 5-7 minutes, then stir in olives, herbs, salt and pepper, chili flakes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°. Dust baking pan evenly with cornmeal. Prepare galette crust. I like to roll out this dough on a parchment sheet, covered with another piece of parchment. Roll out the round of dough with a rolling pin into a fairly thick 13 or so inch circle. Flip onto baking pan, pressing edges together if they have lightly torn. Scatter about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese in center of rolled crust dough, in an approximately 6 inch diameter circle. Mound sautéed vegetables on top, 3 -4 inches high, press tomato halves around and into vegetables, scattering the rest of the cheese over top. Fold edges of dough up and around mound of vegetables, then brush with the extra egg, beaten, or simply brush with a bit of olive oil. Bake 25-30 minutes, until galette crust is lightly browned, along with the cheese and vegetables. Pull from oven, and allow to galette to rest for a few minutes before slicing. Excellent hot, warm or room temperature.
Let these layers of summer warm you, whatever season it may be.