This easy, cheesy summer squash galette makes good use of two Small Pantry staples: Easy buttery pastry dough and tomato vinaigrette. The savory-tangy "vinaigrette" makes a perfect base for layers of thinly sliced summer squash and melty cheese. Wrapped in a no-fuss, tender pastry crust, it's a wonderful blend of textures and savory flavors. Serve this as a simple lunch, or as a side to something equally elegant and simple--we love it next to roasted chicken or grilled salmon.
The steps for this elegant and cheesy summer squash galette are super simple!
Not only are there multiple make-ahead opportunities, but each step of this summer squash galette is incredibly quick and easy! The buttery pastry crust (recipe here) comes together in a snap, without the usual anxiety about too-soft butter and over- or under-hydrating your dough. While the dough chills, you can make the tomato vinaigrette (recipe here). Both the dough and the vinaigrette can be made hours or days in advance. Even slicing your summer squash or zucchini can be done ahead--just store them in the fridge in an airtight container or zip-top bag.
When flaky, buttery pastry and tender summer squash get together, it's magic.
Thanks to the tiny bits of cold butter evenly dispersed throughout the dough, this pastry recipe is pretty much guaranteed to give you flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Very thinly slicing the squash helps it to cook quickly. This means that each layer will become wonderfully tender while still retaining its structural integrity. When the buttery crust is wrapped around layers and layers of perfectly toothsome squash, the effect is divine.
Thinly and evenly slicing the zucchini is the key to preventing crunchy or slimy squash. A mandoline set to approximately ⅛-inch thick is ideal, but you can go up to ¼-inch thick. Just don't go thicker or your squash might not cook at the right rate. Try to keep your slices an even thickness, too, so that they all cook at the same speed.
Simple flavorings let the stars of this galette shine.
The two primary flavorings for this summer squash galette are the tomato vinaigrette and the cheese. The tomato vinaigrette adds a bit of everything: umami and natural sweetness from the caramelized tomato and garlic, plus a fresh zing from lemon and lemon zest. As a base, it is the perfect secret ingredient for mouthwatering success.
To complement the savory-tangy vinaigrette, each layer of summer squash is separated by a nutty melting cheese, like gruyere or cheddar. The melting cheese acts as a glue, so the galette slices neatly, but it also adds richness and extra flavor (obviously--it's cheese!!).
Both the tomato vinaigrette and the cheese act as seasoning for the somewhat neutral squash, so the end result is guaranteed to be complex and well-balanced. A generous amount of fresh thyme makes it feel like summer in the French countryside. Parsley, rosemary, and even tarragon would also be lovely.
Swapping ingredients is easy. Summer squash goes with everything!
If you'd like to switch out ingredients, it's easy to do! The tomato vinaigrette can be swapped for your favorite tomato jam or confit. Just keep in mind the salt and sugar levels. A jam, for example, will lean sweeter, so you might need to adjust by adding salt. (Two of my favorite tomato jams are the peach Bulgarian pepper tomato jam and spicy + smoky heirloom tomato jam from V Smiley Preserves. V does a fabulous job walking the line between sweet and savory--and both of those jams are perfect in this recipe! P.S. I'm not an affiliate, just an enthusiastic fan.)
If you're looking to switch out the cheese, make sure you choose something that melts well and has a nice, nutty flavor. Skip the generic Swiss (bland and rubbery!), but definitely reach for Comté, or even Fontina! Use discretion with aged cheeses--they are delicious but tend to break and get oily when melted.
Notes for Success:
As with any recipe calling for a pastry crust, pay attention to the chilling instructions. You'll have much more fun shaping the galette if you are willing to pause and pop it into the fridge to firm up for a few minutes. Don't try to be the hero by muscling through a too-warm, sticky dough.
On a similar note, do not skip the final chill after the galette is shaped. The butter needs to be COLD before it hits the oven, so that it steams and puffs the pastry properly. If it's too warm it will just melt and seep out of the crust into a greasy puddle.
The egg wash is optional, but it gives the crust a gorgeous, burnished effect. It also helps the large flakes of sea salt adhere!
Take note of your rack placement in your oven. The recipe specifies placing it in the lower third of your oven so that the bottom of the galette is closer to the heating element. This helps to make sure you don't get any soggy bottoms!
Recipe: Cheesy Summer Squash Galette with Tomato Vinaigrette
- 1 recipe Easy Buttery Pastry Dough, chilled, See Tips below
- 3 tablespoons Tomato Vinaigrette, or your favorite tomato jam, See Tips below
- 1 cup shredded cheese, such as gruyere or young cheddar, Plus more for sprinkling
- 1 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced, ⅛- to ¼-inch thick
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, About ¼ medium red onion or 1 medium shallot
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- 1 egg, beaten, Optional
- Preheat your oven to 450°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
- Step 1Roll your pie crust into a 12-inch circle, about ¼-inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If your dough warmed significantly while rolling, or if your kitchen is very hot, chill on the sheet pan for about 15 minutes.)
- Step 2Spread the tomato vinaigrette in an even layer, leaving about a 2-inch border. Sprinkle about half of the cheese over the vinaigrette. Arrange half zucchini over the cheese, still maintaining the 2-inch border of empty dough. Sprinkle all of the sliced onion over the zucchini, followed by half the thyme. Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky salt. Repeat, layering the remaining cheese, zucchini, and herbs.
- Step 3Using the parchment to help you lift 3-inch wide sections at a time, fold the edges of the crust up and over the edge of the zucchini, making sure to smooth and patch any gaps around the edges or cracks in the folds. Don't worry if some of the vinaigrette has leaked through tiny cracks in your dough! The orange stains will only add to the galette's rustic appeal.
- Step 4Brush the crust evenly with the beaten egg, taking care to brush around and under the folded edge of the galette. Sprinkle the whole galette with flaky sea salt, if using. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 15 minutes. Optional: Before refrigerating, lightly sprinkle the whole galette with a few more tablespoons of grated cheese.
- Step 5Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet set on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.