I’m not a vegetarian. Far from it: one of my favorite things in the world is a thick, juicy cheeseburger. At one point in my life, I pretty much threw in my chips with the “a meal isn’t a meal without some kind of meat” crowd. I imagine that my husband still thinks the same way. But over the years, something funny has happened… we’re just not eating as much meat. Without an effort, we’re eating more vegetarian meals than ever. And it happens just sort of… accidentally.
Take last week for instance. At the end of the week, I was looking through the leftovers in the fridge and I realized that I had only cooked meat for dinner (chicken, at that!) ONCE that week. And then, at that same moment, I realized that we hadn’t missed it. I’m fairly certain my husband didn’t even notice. So what’s the secret to eating vegetarian and not feeling like you’re eating vegetarian?
Durned if I know. But I suspect it has something to do with eating really tasty food that just happens to not have meat in it. This galette is the perfect example of that. It doesn’t pretend to be meaty. It’s just gorgeous in all it’s summer vegetable glory. This is what I like to call stunning food. It’s just so beautiful that it’s hard to resist digging in as soon as it comes out of the oven. There is nothing there to muddle up the flavors of the veggies- it’s all sweet tomatoes, tender zucchini, and juicy, crunchy bits of sweetcorn. The crust is delicate, but sturdy enough to hold up the juice of the tomatoes, with a clean, buttery flavor.
This is also the perfect thing to have at a get together as a side if you’re doing some grilling. It can easily be a side for your meat-eater friends or a main attraction for your vegetarian friends, without leaving them feeling shafted. This is lovely right out of the oven, but just as lovely served at room temp, so it could be made ahead of time. Now I know we’re coming up to Labor Day weekend fast and furious here (are you counting down the minutes?!), and this weekend is traditionally a eat-all-the-meats type of situation. And you know I’m down with that. But I would urge you to use up the last of summer’s bounty and give this a shot, even if it’s only to accompany the ribs and sausages and burgers palooza over the next few days. I promise you, the meat will wait- these summer veggies won’t!
adapted, only just barely, from The Smitten Kitchen
- For the pastry:
- 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) plain yogurt or sour cream
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) ice water
- For the filling:
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher or sea salt
- 3 cups (about 450 grams) cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 ear corn, cut from the cob (about 1 cup)
- 1 small (8 ounces or 225 grams) zucchini or summer squash, diced
- 1 bundle (3 to 4 ounces or 85 to 115 grams) scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) grated parmesan
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Make dough: Whisk stir the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, stir 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. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days.
Make filling: Get down the saute pan with the lid. If you don’t have one, any large lid will do. Add olive oil, tomatoes, salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes to your sauté pan. Roll the tomatoes around from time to time so that they’ll cook evenly. In a few minutes, you’ll hear some putts and pops as the tomatoes burst a little. When most have, turn heat down to medium and add zucchini chunks. Saute for two minutes, until they soften. Add corn and scallions, just stirring them in, then turn off heat. Adjust seasonings if needed. Cool to at least lukewarm before assembling the galette.
Assemble galette: Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round and it really doesn’t need to be perfectly shaped. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; I've found rolling up the dough around a rolling pin to be the most effective way to do this. Sprinkle tomato-zucchini-corn mixture with half of parmesan and spoon the mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. If any liquid has puddle in plate, try to leave it there as you spoon. Sprinkle with almost all of remaining parmesan, leaving a pinch or two behind for the crust. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Sprinkle glaze with last pinches of parmesan.
Bake the galette: For 30 to 40 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.