Harvest pie with swiss chard, cheese, orange zest and fennel

By • September 16, 2010 • 10 Comments

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Author Notes: For potlucks I like to bring a pie made with phyllo dough in the tradition of Greek spinach pie. My version uses red stem Swiss chard dressed with lemon juice, slightly wilted with sauteed onions and pinion pine nuts over a layer of ricotta and feta cheese, seasoned with orange zest and a hint of fennel. I love the refreshing lightness of this chard pie, a celebration of the late summer harvest that is so precious. Sagegreen

Serves 6-12

  • 9 leaves of phyllo pastry dough (@12-14 oz.)
  • 2-3 tablespoons excellent quality olive oil, to use for light brushing
  • 1 3/4 pounds fresh Swiss chard, chopped,red stem preferred
  • dash of kosher salt
  • 1 onion, cippolini or vidalia, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 ounces pinion pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup Bulgarian sheep feta cheese
  • 2 cups excellent quality fresh ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh milled fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  1. In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and pinion pine nuts. When the onions turn translucent, turn off the heat.
  2. Toss the chopped Swiss chard lightly with salt and lemon juice. Mix in with the onions and nuts in the warm pan. Let this almost wilt without heat from the warmth of the pan.
  3. Lightly oil the bottom of a large baking dish (13" x 9"). Add five layers of phyllo dough, lightly brushing with olive oil the top of each layer.
  4. Mix the ricotta and feta together in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs. Next stir in the orange zest, orange juice, parsley, and pepper. Spoon this onto the phyllo leaves in the baking dish.
  5. Next spoon the Swiss chard mixture on top of the cheese layer. Then for the top crust add four more layers of phyllo leaves, again very lightly brushing olive oil on each leaf.
  6. Bake in a 375 degree oven until golden brown (about 45 minutes or so). Cool a bit and slice into squares. Serve warm.
Jump to Comments (10)

Tags: light, savory

Comments (10) Questions (0)

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Me

about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks fabulous! Just last night I was thinking of doing a streusel wrap of filo topped with sesame seeds with a stuffing of swiss chard. Our brains were connecting on this one!! I can't wait to try it!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Nice topping ideas! Thanks.

Me

about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Hey there Sagegreen - is the fennel mentioned in the title of your recipe the fennel seed? Should I add that to the ricotta feta mixture when I add the white pepper? I'm making this tonight!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Yes it is fennel seed ground up fresh and I do mix with white pepper. Hope you like it. Hi from Minsk!

Me

about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Loved this! I made it tonight and added chopped red peppers to the onion mixture, a pinch of nutmeg to the swiss chard when wilted, and sesame seeds to the top. It was just wonderful! The cheese mixture was just perfect - I love the fennel and orange you've put in there. I'll be making this one many times in the future! Thanks sagegreen. Hope your travels are going well!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, ChezSuzanne ! So glad you enjoyed this. Great variations you suggest, too. I spent the day finding a bumper crop of wild mushrooms out in the Brest region of Belarus where we are cooking traditional dishes for dinner here at an amazing farmstead! Can't wait to share some of these new recipes later.

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about 4 years ago TiggyBee

I see this in my future!! Lovely!!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. It is very refreshing and light with the citrus.

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about 4 years ago SallyCan

Nice recipe. Like the idea of mixing ricotta with the feta, which can be overpowering. The.orange and fennel sound lovely, more interesting than the dill I usually put in a chard pie.

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. I made one yesterday only with feta and it was overpowering. So for dinner tonight we really enjoyed this version.