In exactly 2 weeks, on september 1st, Loreto and I we will be landing in my home city, Rome! I can’t believe we’re getting so close to the departure! As you can tell I can hardly wait. I am doing the dance right now, arms up in the air, hips shaking, feet moving 😉 . My family and friends are already planning every single day of our 3 weeks stay. Time will fly, we won’t probably have any rest, but we will be fabulously, cheerfully, bellyful happy.
My in-laws in Edmonton (that emigrated from Italy to Canada 55 years ago) and my parents in Rome are very similar: they both have a beautiful garden that provides, mostly in the summer, a bountiful of fresh produce. They come from the same background, both their ancestors had pieces of land that they worked hard, but lovingly. My husband and I, even at thousands of kms distance, we grew up in traditional italian families where cooking homemade fresh meals everyday, and using quality ingredients, was the rule and so now we can tell the difference from organic produce to store-bought produce. The gap is abysmal. That’s why, for us, organic eating is a way of life. And we cook consequently.
Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, green beans, leafy greens and herbs are among the produces they grow the most. Always lots of them, here and there. My parents already started jarring their tomato sauce few weeks ago, my in-laws will start pretty soon, the season is a little behind here. Lots of jars, followed by freezing some of the vegetables so that even in the winter we will all have a taste of summer in our plates.
We love preparing recipes to highlight the flavor and color of the produce we use. This recipe is a wonderful example of a colorful, delicious, good-looking summer dish. A tomato, zucchini and leek galette with herb ricotta.
Ricotta beautifully blended with an array of fresh herbs: chives, thyme, basil flavored with garlic powder and drops of extra virgin olive oil. Leeks sautéed until nice and soft are the first layer of this galette. Rounded slices of heirloom tomatoes and zucchine from Loreto’s parents’ garden complete the circular design and contribute to the multilayered flavor experience of the tastebuds.
The crust (that we didn’t make -this time): layers of phyillo pastry dough brushed with butter, oven baked to a beautiful golden color. Crisp, light, distinct in taste, but not taking away the flavors of the vegetables and cheese.
We can’t rave enough about organic fruit and vegetables, and this dish was the real deal.The empty plate was evidence that this tomato zucchini leek galette was a success, all that was left were crumbs and even those were snacked on.
I can’t get out of my head a song by George Ezra: “Budapest”….”You…oooh…You…oooh…I’d leave it all…” 🙂 .
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (or few sheets of frozen phyllo pastry)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, well-washed and thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- 3 heirloom tomatoes
- 1 medium zucchini
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces ricotta, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
- Preheat the oven to 450° F.
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the thinly sliced leeks, salt, pepper. Cook until leeks have softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the leeks to a plate and set aside.
- Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch-thick rounds and arrange them in one layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to drain.
- Meanwhile, slice the zucchine into 1/8-inch-thick rounds and in a small bowl mix them with 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In another small bowl combine the ricotta cheese with the thyme, chives, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and drizzle 2 tablespon extra virgin olive oil.Mix until the ricotta is smooth and uniform.
- Place the puff pastry (or phyllo pastry) on a rimmed, greased, baking sheet and cut the excess on the edges.
- Spread the herb ricotta evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Spread the sautéed leeks over the ricotta. Arrange the tomatoes in a concentric pattern over the leeks. Arrange the zucchini slices in a concentric pattern over the tomatoes.
- Sprinkle the parmigiano reggiano over the top.
- Fold the border of the pastry up and over the edge of the tomatoes.
- Bake the galette in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and puffed.
- Remove the galette from the oven, sprinkle with fresh basil over the top and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.