Sunday, October 05, 2008

An Appetizer with a Little Work...

Sometimes reading Bon Appetit gets me into trouble ;-) It makes me all ambitious.

I got invited to play cards (euchre for those who live in the Midwest and know what that is. For those who don't live in the Midwest, it's kind of like bridge) at a friend's house. It's a potluck event; the host makes the main meal, everyone else brings a side dish or a dessert. So I'm reading this month's Bon Appetit and I come across these Individual Zucchini, Lemon and Ricotta Galettes.

I had great success with an apple and plum galette (did I post that recipe already? I can't remember). So I think how hard can this one be?

Well...this wasn't hard. Just...involved. At least for me, someone who likes a recipe that has like three steps. Mix, bake, serve ;-).

The picture here, BTW, doesn't do them justice. The lighting wasn't all that good and the countertop they were on was the same color as the crusts, so it's hard to see them against the glass serving platter. But trust me, these were yummy.

Bon Appetit tells you to make your own crust. I can make ANYTHING except pie crust. I know, I know. But for me, that's just my one thing I can't do. So I buy ready-made ones. The recipe says it makes six but it made more like six hundred, so I cut it down here and made it more regular cook friendly:

Easier Zucchini Lemon and Ricotta Galettes

2 ready made pie crusts
1/2 pound zucchini, shredded (just shred it on a coarse cheese grater)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic (I buy the stuff in a jar a lot)
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
kosher salt

(One thing about ingredients...I'm not anal about anything unless I'm baking. I kind of have a Rachael Ray approach to cooking. I taste as I go, and if it looks good, and tastes good, that's what goes in. So this is approximately what I used).

Place shredded zucchini in a colander over a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let it drain for 30 minutes. Then press it between paper towels or a kitchen towel until as much liquid as possible is removed. In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter, add oil, and then saute onion until clear and translucent. Add garlic, saute 30 seconds. Then add zucchini and lemon juice. Cook until zucchini is tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the pie crusts and cut into 3-inch circles with a glass (unless you're one of those people who has a cookie cutter for every occasion). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats and put the pie crust circles on the sheets. Melt remaining butter in a separate pan. [see, I told you. Lots of steps!]

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, 2/3's of the Parmesan, the egg and lemon rind. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the zucchini mixture. Spoon in the center of the crust, leaving a 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch border all the way around (enough to fold it in). Pleat the edges and fold them. Brush the crusts with the melted butter (Bon Appetite said to drizzle the remaining butter over the centers, too, but I had a butter incident when the dog got under my feet in the kitchen, so there was no remaining butter for me to do that with. Ah well, I didn't need the calories anyway. And they were yummy without it). Sprinkle crusts with kosher salt (FYI, Bon Appetit called for fleur de sel, a specialty sea salt. Yeah, right. We have already heard my frustration with trying to buy SHALLOTS, folks. I'm not going to try to buy that. Kosher salt works just fine). Then sprinkle galettes with reserved Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then Bon Appetit recommended reducing the temp to 375 for another 25 minutes. I ended up baking them at 425 for 25 minutes total because I was late for cards ;-). They say you can serve these warm or at room temp. Personal experience -- way better warm. They were a huge hit, and in the end, worth the effort. Will I make them again? Definitely. :-)



  1. Heather W.8:48 AM

    I was in one of our newly remodeled Kroger stores yesterday and noticed a bin full of shallots, which made me think of you. How odd that I'll think Shirley every time I see a shallot!

    Anyway, I just wanted to comment on how "un-hoosier" it is of you to make such a fancy appetizer to play euchre. Or maybe my idea of it is skewed because I haven't played since college?

  2. LOL, it probably is the Boston in me coming out. I just love trying new things. You should see what's on my menu for this week. I'm all excited just to go to the grocery store, LOL.



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