There are times in life when I really, really wish that people like The Equalizer, or the folks on Leverage existed in this world, and that they were on my side. Or that I could conjure up Machiavelli, ply him with food and wine, and get some sound advice on how to deal with nasty people. Sometimes, I feel like I was raised amongst Hobbits in The Shire. I need a cunning mastermind to help me navigate some of the perils of society.
Hey! I can do that! This month, Jacque and Natashya asked us to make a special pie based on someone famous. So, in keeping with my savory theme of late, I decided to invite Niccolo over for dinner, and serve him a zucchini, lemon, and ricotta crostata. Because he’s Italian, I thought the flavor combo would appeal to him.
I found inspiration from this recipe in the October 2008 issue of Bon Appetit. It needed a bit of jazzing up, and I was happy to oblige. I didn’t use Dorie’s pie crust (which I use for everything, including savory pies — I just omit the salt) because I like to practice with other dough recipes every now and then. This was a good crust, but I still prefer Dorie’s. The recipe can be found after the jump, but check out the Pies with That blogroll to see who others invited to dinner! And I posted three times yesterday (making up for lost time), so scroll back and see what I’ve been up to.
Zucchini, Lemon, and Ricotta Galettes
Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit, October 2008
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
- 5 2/3 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 1/3 pounds)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese (if you have the time, place it in a colander and let it drain for about 30 minutes if it’s really wet)
- 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3-4 dashes of Tabasco
- Fleur de sel*
Place the butter, salt, and flour in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks about the size of peas. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoonful at a time, pulsing until dough forms moist clumps, and adding more water by teaspoonfuls as needed if dough is too dry. DO NOT OVERMIX OR YOU WILL HAVE A TOUGH CRUST. Form dough into 2 balls; flatten each into disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before rolling out.
Place zucchini in colander set over large bowl. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let drain 30 minutes. Working in batches, squeeze zucchini in kitchen towel to remove as much liquid as possible. You will get a lot of water, but don’t skip this step or you will end up with a soggy mess in your pie crust.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini and lemon juice; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until zucchini is tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup Parmesan, egg, lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, Tabasco, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Stir in cooled zucchini mixture.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out 1 dough disk to 1/8-inch thickness. Using 6-inch-diameter plate, cut out 3 dough rounds. Repeat with remaining dough. Place 3 dough rounds on each baking sheet. Paint the bottom of each round with the Dijon mustard. You just need a thin, even layer.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Spoon 1/2 cup filling into center of 1 dough round, leaving 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch border. Carefully fold up border, pleating dough edges to create round pastry with about 2 to 21/2 inches of exposed filling in center. Repeat with remaining filling and dough rounds. Brush crusts with melted butter. Drizzle any remaining melted butter over filling in centers. Sprinkle crostatas with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel.
Bake crostatas for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake until crust is golden and filling is set and begins to brown, about 25 minutes longer. Run spatula under crostatas to loosen. Let rest 5 minutes. do ahead Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Serve individual crostatas hot or at room temperature.
This was supposed to make six pies, but I came up with three.