We’re hitting the stride of summer, and all those backyard gardeners who casually planted a few zucchini plants back on Mother’s Day are now living in deep regret* as the squash grow faster than they can eat them. Before you know it, you turn into Benjamin Buford Blue rattling off all the ways you can cook zucchini. Zucchini boats, bread, coffee cake, baked, fried, “fries” (lulz), dip, fritters (you get the point)…
*Gardening pro-tip: Live sans regret and don’t ever plant zucchini and just sit back, cold beer in hand, and wait for the neighbors to start giving it away come late June.
When the zucchini offers start rolling in and you think of what to do with all your free food, I would recommend taking it to the cheesy, garlicky, savory side and making this Zucchini and Comté Galette.
This galette was inspired by the incomparable Ina Garten’s Zucchini and goat cheese tart. I’ve made it before and it’s a great way to use up some squash and it’s just so darn pretty.
This little open faced pie is great to use when having friends over for a summer evening of drinks, or could sub for a vegetarian lunch for two with a salad. It comes together fairly easy, and can be served warm or at room temp. With a cold glass of rosé of course. Basically the perfect lazy summer food. Cheers!
Zucchini and Comté Galette
Makes 1 9in galette
9 Tb unsalted butter, taken out of the fridge for ~30 min (just enough to take the chill off)
1.5 C all purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 medium zucchini, sliced very thinly (do yourself a favor and use a mandolin)
1 C Comté (you could also sub Gruyere) cheese, shredded
1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Maldon sea salt
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-2 tsp lemon zest
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to combine. Add in cooled butter and pulse until butter is spread throughout in pea-sized pieces.
Add 1 Tbsp of ice water to the flour mixture and pulse twice to combine. Continue doing this, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the mixture forms a ball. Dump mixture onto lightly floured cutting board and combine and shape into 6-7 inch disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
While dough is chilling, place oven rack in middle position and heat to 400F. Slice the zucchini very thinly on a mandolin. Lay down a double layer of paper towels and spread zucchini out evenly. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of kosher salt and let sit. Zucchini has a lot of water so this is a pretty crucial step to prevent a soggy galette. In fact the earlier you can do this step, the better! It needs to sit about 30 minutes minimum.
While the zucchini is sweating it out, combine extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic in a cold 8-inch pan. Heat over low-medium heat until fragrant and garlic is just starting to sizzle. Pour into ramekin and set aside.
After the dough is chilled, roll out on a lightly floured countertop to 10 inches around. Transfer rolled dough to parchment lined sheet pan.
To assemble: Take garlic oil and using a pastry brush, paint an 8-9 inch circle on the bottom of the dough. Sprinkle cheese over oil. Layer zucchini in concentric circles working from the outside in. Brush tops of zucchini with more garlic oil and sprinkle with thyme and lemon zest.
Brush crust with egg and sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling, rotating halfway through cooking time.
Let cool on pan for 5 minutes and transfer to cutting board. Serve with friends and wine! Happy Summer!