Monday, August 5, 2013

burst tomato galette with corn and zucchini

tomato, corn and zucchini galette

I have a long history of spectacular tomato tart failures. There was the one that enchanted me on TV a decade ago, with a parmesan crust, bacon, fine breadcrumbs and roasted garlic, that — several hours of work later — ended up tasting metallic and clashy against the acidic tomatoes. There was the tomato tarte tatin flop from a fancy French chef, for which I have only myself to blame. And two summers ago, there was an heirloom tomato galette, with colors like a rainbow, that fell apart before we ate it. The problem more often than not is a basic one: tomatoes are very wet and tart crusts need to stay fairly dry. But this has never stopped me from trying again, and I’m glad, because it led me to this.

a pretty mix of tiny tomatoes
diced zucchini

Sort of. This too spun from a disaster, a gnocchi failure last week that involved these same fixings. But we were so in love with the combination — lightly charred and slumped cherry tomatoes, sauteed zucchini, crunchy sweet corn, scallions and parmesan that I’ve become convinced it should be applied to everything this month from pasta to farro to omelets.

burst and sauteed tiny tomatoes

tomatoes and zucchini

Inevitably, it made it inside a galette and guys, it’s been way too long since we made a galette isn’t it, a whole three years since this zucchini-ricotta riff and six (sheesh, this blog is making me feel old) since the butternut and caramelized onion one made its debut. Unacceptable. Let’s fix this.

sweet white corn
cooling the sauteed filling
parmesan
rolling out the yogurt pastry
gently folded dough
sauteed, cooled filling

This one works better than the tomato tarts of the past for a few reasons. Because it’s a mixture of vegetables, and not exclusively tomatoes, there wasn’t as much moisture fighting its way out. Cherry tomatoes are smaller and less wet than big heirlooms, plus they were cooked a little first, letting out some of their juiciness (and also concentrating it in the pan, deliciously). Finally, maybe I’m just relaxing after all these years of being overly obsessive, but when I saw a teensy, inconsequential bit of juices come out as I sliced it, I just shrugged. Tomatoes are tomatoes, and suddenly I was sure we have better things to do this summer — beaches, barbecues, boats, I hope, and that’s just the Bs — than to fight it.

tomato, corn and zucchini galette
tomato, corn and zucchini galette

One year ago: My Favorite Brownies
Two years ago: Zucchini Fritters
Three years ago: Sweet and Smoky Oven Spare Ribs
Four years ago: Cantaloupe Salsa
Five years ago: Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
Six years ago: Quick Zucchini Saute (still the best quick summer side dish on earth)

Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini

Serves 4 to 6 as a main or 8 as an appetizer or side dish

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

Glaze:
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 (if that’s your thing) to your saute pan then cover and heat over high heat. 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, remove lid, turn heat down to medium and add zucchini chunks. Saute for two minutes, until they soften. Add corn and cook one minute. Add scallions, just stirring them in, then turn off heat. Adjust seasonings if needed. Transfer mixture to a large plate and spread it out, so that it will cool faster. You want it cooled 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 like to fold my dough gently, without creasing, in quarters then unfold it onto the baking pan. 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.


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