Like most Fridays this summer, I woke up slowly. The sun slowly crept through the windows with the sounds of the world (and my little family) coming to life outside. It’s my favorite thing about mornings – the calm and quiet that permeates the early hours.
But I also woke up really excited. I planned to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure, knock out a few to-dos from our seemingly never-ending list and head to the rehearsal dinner of two of our favorite people at one of my favorite restaurants. And… I was going to make my very first galette.
I can’t say if it’s the crisp cool that has been slowly invading the foggy mornings around here, or if it’s just because fall has been on my mind a lot lately, but it’s definitely something. I can’t put my finger on why, but I have been completely consumed with the idea of baking a galette. (Truth be told, I’ve never even tasted a single bite of a galette, but still, I’ve been hellbent on making one of my own.)
The defining factor of a galette is that it’s a free-form pastry, baked without the stability of a pie pan or tart ring. The dough is rolled out flat, then folded around the filling. But the true appeal of a galette lies in its unsophistication. It can be anything you want, but as long as you’ve used good fruit or vegetables for the filling and real butter for the dough, it will bake up into something golden brown and utterly gorgeous, the kind of pastry you’re excited to whip up anytime.
Sausage & Zucchini Galette
The most beautiful thing about a galette is that it can truly become anything you can imagine. If you prefer sweets, add a bit of honey to the dough and layer in lots of fruits to the filling. I personally am more of a savory kind of girl, so I added some saltiness to the crust with a sprinkle of garlic and parmesan cheese and chose meat as the base of the filling. Alter this recipe to suit your tastes! Just remember, the sky is the limit.
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/8 cup cold water
Dash of garlic, sprinkle of parmesan cheese
For the filling:
2 tablespoons pesto
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
8 ounces sausage, lightly cooked
1 small onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
3-4 springs of fresh sage
Salt and pepper to taste
For the wash:
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
To make the crust, mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. With a pasty blender (or if you’re like me and don’t have one, a fork), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add in cold water little by little until the dough sticks together without being wet or sticky.
Transfer the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. (I knew my day was going to be hectic, so I made the dough yesterday and let it cool overnight!)
To make the filling, warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and zucchini, stirring occasionally until sausage is partly cooked through and the vegetables are lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the sprigs of sage and cook for another 3-4 minutes, mixing frequently. Remove the sage, and set mixture aside.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll into an 11-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Spread a thin layer of pesto on top of the dough, leaving a 2 inch border all the way around! Next, add a thin later of ricotta, followed by the mixture of onion, zucchini and sausage. Season with salt and pepper.
Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and brush the crust with the egg wash. (Disclaimer: I totally skipped this step, although definitely not on purpose. Yesterday, I made deviled eggs and forgot to leave one undeviled for the wash. Oops.)
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the filling is crispy and cooked all the way through. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!