Swiss chard, leek, herb, and ricotta crostata, with walnut dough

Updated: Apr 26

Although I enjoy a savoury pie, I have been intimidated to making them because of the crusts. I realize that part of the magic is a wonderful crust. I decided to get over this fear and try making the crusts, this is one of the first recipes I attempted.

An absolutely delightful crostada. The chard comes together with leeks and lots of herbs on an amazing walnut crust. I want to make this crostata every week.

If I was to ever buy a book for one recipe, this would be the recipe. My only problem with that statement is that every recipe in this book is this darned good!

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.



Ingredients:

For the crostata:

1 bunch swiss chard, washed well, leaves and tender stems chopped

2 leeks, washed well and sliced into thin half moons

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2-1 teaspoon dried chili flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil or other light cooking oil


1 cup ricotta cheese, whole-milk preferred

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 cup fresh herbs, including cilantro, basil, dill, parsley, mint, or anything else

2 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Walnut dough, recipe follows


Method:

Heat the oil on a large flat pan. Add the garlic and cook on medium heat till the garlic are browned and caramelized, about 2-3 minutes. Add the chard, leeks, chili flakes, salt and pepper and cook till they are all soft and completely cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and cool.


Mix the rest of the ingredients, except walnut dough, into the cooled chard mix. Fold them together to get everything evenly coated.


Heat an oven to 375°F, with a baking stone on a rack in the center of the oven. I highly recommend a baking stone for a better crust. If you do not have a baking stone, use a baking sheet as a base.


Place this mix onto the center of the rolled out walnut dough. Spread it out evenly, you should keep about 1-1 1/2 inches around the edge so you can fold the dough over. Gently fold the dough over the cooked vegetable mix, pleating it in as needed. If the dough cracks, it is fine, you can patch it in. You are not aiming for perfection, at least I am not, as evidenced by the photo of the pie!


Gently place the pie onto the preheat baking stone. bake for 25-30 minutes till the crust is browned on the edges and the bottom. Decrease the heat to 325°F and bake for a further 15-20 minutes till the crust is cooked through.


Remove from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.


Walnut dough:

1/2 cup walnuts

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 oz very cold butter

2 tablespoons very cold water


Method:

Add the walnuts, flour and sugar to food processor and pulse till the walnuts are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse till the largest crumble is the size of a pea.

with the processor running add the water and process till the mixture is climbing up the sides of the processor. Open the lid and test a piece of dough to see if it is dry and crumbly or holds together. If it is dry, add a teaspoon of water and pulse again. You want to dough to just start holding together.


When the dough is the right consistency, dump it out, collect the dough together into a ball and push out with the heel of your hand. Pull back together and repeat a few more strokes till the dough starts to come together. Do not overwork the dough.


Pull the dough together and shape it into a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and put into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


You can keep it longer, and if you do, take it out of the fridge and let warm up for a few minutes before you begin working on it.

Remove the dough and place it on lightly floured parchment paper or silicone sheet. Shape it out into a flat disc, I use a rolling pin. The dough will still be a bit crumbly, pacth the pieces together as needed.


Continue with the recipe from above or any other recipe.

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