The blue sky was splattered with gauzy clouds. Our kite soared many feet above and danced in the mean ocean breeze while the kids chased its shadow down the long empty beach. A perfect kinda day, really. I felt you there, wrote your name in the sand and watched the tide selfishly whisk it away. I smiled at the pointless gesture. As if the sea were that kind.
Later, I bounced my youngest on my hip in the cool salt water pond and kissed his wet, chubby cheeks, all while he giggled at fun mommy. The older kids swam around us like a school of trout, approaching and darting quickly away. I passed our youngest off to J and returned to my sand covered beach chair. I watched, fully present, something I hardly ever do.
Is there much more?
You laughed. The dead are so wise. No, no there is nothing else.
I smiled, easy for you to say.
Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Tomato Tart
A savory summer galette starring garden ripe zucchini and heirloom tomatoes paired with a bright lemon ricotta filling
recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens and Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
Ingredients for filling:
1/2 of a 15 ounce package of your favorite refrigerated pie crust or use the recipe listed below
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 2 + 1/2 cups)
3 heirloom tomatoes, 1/4 inch slices
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper + more to taste
kosher salt to taste
basil leaves, torn
1 tablespoon water
Optional: Balsamic glaze like this
Sprinkle sliced zucchini lightly with salt. Place in colander and drain for about 15 minutes. Pat dry.
Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and roll out your pie dough to a 12 inch circle. Transfer to a large baking sheet and set aside.
Using a medium bowl whisk together ricotta, Parmesan cheese, goat cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, kosher salt and pepper. Grab a spatula and spread the filling evenly over the dough leaving about 1 and 1/2 inch border. Top with zucchini, followed by tomato slices and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Gently fold over pastry edge, pleating and pressing down as needed.
In a small bowl whisk together 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Using a pastry brush lightly brush the edges with the egg mixture. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with torn basil leaves and sea salt. Drizzle all over with balsamic glaze, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Galette is best the day it is made, but it does make a nice breakfast the next day. If you have leftovers, store in an air-tight container at room temperature. Bring to room temperature before eating. Enjoy!
Pate Brisee or Short Pastry
recipe from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
Makes 1-9 inch pie crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt
8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
3-4 tablespoons ice water
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Next add cold butter, cut into 1 inch pieces. Rub butter and flour between your fingertips until the butter is pea-sized. Dump dough onto clean counter. Form a “trough” lengthwise (vertically) through flour mixture. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and fluff it with your fingers until large lumps form and the pastry is blended. The dough should be a bit dry, not too wet.
Gather the dough together and flatten the dough with the heel of your hand so that the butter will layer between the flour (fraisage). Rotate dough and repeat once again. Repeat a few more times. Form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
5 Summer Savory Galette Links
Can’t get enough of heirloom tomatoes? Head to Joy the Baker for her heirloom tomato tart recipe with sun-dried tomato pesto. Yum!
Not sure what to do with all of your garden’s summer squash? Try A Cozy Kitchen’s summer squash lattice ricotta tart.
Gluten-free? Head to Tartelette and try a gluten-free tart with savory greens, tomatoes and goat cheese. While you are there be sure to check out Helene’s recipe for a Swiss chard, goat cheese and prosciutto tart.
If your CSA contains more Swiss chard than you can handle, try making Smitten Kitchen’s leek and Swiss chard tart!