Emeril Lagasse is not a chef whose cooking style struck me as particularly delicate. I'd always thought of him as the "Bam!" guy whose mission to kick-it-up-a-notch resulted in food that was, well, kicked up. But the recipes in Farm to Fork couldn't be more understated, elegant even. It's almost as though Emeril has kicked it down a notch in his new book, letting the farm-fresh ingredients speak for themselves without need for any aggressive seasonings.
This Tomato, Zucchini, and Leek Galette with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese is a perfect example of Emeril's newfound reverence for fresh produce. Ripe summer tomatoes, zucchini, and leeks are seasoned with just a touch of salt and white pepper, layered on a bed of herbed goat cheese and puff pastry. It's a gorgeous and simple dish that lets the true character of the ingredients come through with all of its summery goodness.
The galette that emerges from the oven is light and puffy, looking almost like a thick crusted pizza. But one you slice into it the puff pastry is all flakes and butter, crisp on the outer edges and softly melding with the goat cheese and tomatoes in the center.
The top layer of zucchini is sprinkled with shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano that browns in the oven making little crunchy-chewy rounds. Of course this wouldn't be a real Emeril recipe without a little bit of garlic, but this time the sharp flavor is tamed by roasting, and mixed into the tangy goat cheese for a bit of sweetness.
Win Farm to Fork
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Farm to Fork to give away this week.
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced well-washed leeks (white part only)
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 1 pound medium heirloom tomatoes, stem ends trimmed
- 8 ounces zucchini, ends trimmed
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 heads Roasted Garlic (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 12 ounces garlic (about 5 large heads)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough to 1⁄16- inch thickness. Cut out a 12-inch round, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in the freezer for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Slice the tomatoes into ¼-inch-thick rounds, and arrange them in one even layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and set aside to drain for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the zucchini into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. In a small bowl, mix the zucchini slices with 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, combine the goat cheese, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon white pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil. Mix well with a rubber spatula. Squeeze each head of roasted garlic over the bowl, pressing the soft cloves out of the peel. Mix until the goat cheese is smooth and the mixture is uniform.
Remove the baking sheet from the freezer (it is okay if the dough is frozen-- it will soften by the time you complete the assembly) and spread the goat cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Spread the sautéed leeks evenly over the goat cheese. Blot the tomatoes dry and arrange them in a concentric pattern over the leeks. Arrange the zucchini slices in a concentric pattern over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top. Fold the border of the pastry up and over the edge of the tomatoes.
Bake the galette for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and puffed.
Remove the galette from the oven, sprinkle the fresh basil over the top, and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Set the galette aside for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut a piece of aluminum foil to measure approximately 12×8 inches.
Slice the top quarter off each head of garlic, and place the garlic, cut side up, on one side of the piece of foil. Drizzle the oil over the garlic, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Fold the other side of the foil over, and seal on all sides to form an airtight pouch. Transfer the pouch to a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until the cloves are soft and golden brown, about 1 hour.
Remove the pouch from the oven and let it sit until the garlic is cool enough to handle. Then squeeze each head of garlic, gently pressing it with your fingers to expel the soft cloves into a bowl. Stir the garlic with a rubber spatula to blend it thoroughly. Use as needed, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.