Crostata With Mixed Greens

August 27, 2011

Author Notes: This is one of my go-to recipes that I bring to pot luck meals or parties. It's a simple vegetarian meal or side that tastes good warm or room temperature. Years ago I saw Lidia Bastianich make this on one of her cooking shows. I made some changes, adding semolina to the olive oil crust, and using a variety of greens. It is delicious served with a fresh tomato sauce or roasted cherry tomatoes. It is a wonderful way to get your greens and this rustic tart is just as good the next day as it is on the day you make it. The greens take some time to clean (making sure you remove the grit) but the effort you put into the preparation is totally worth it in the end. sdebrango

Serves: 6-8 depending on serving size
Prep time: 1 hrs
Cook time: 1 hrs 15 min

Ingredients

The Crostata Dough

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (if not using semolina, use 2 cups flour), plus more as needed for kneading
  • 1/4 cup semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water

The Greens Filling

  • 1 pound swiss chard, chopped ( I used red chard)
  • 1 pound escarole, chopped
  • 1 pound spinach chopped or one package frozen chopped spinach thawed
  • 2 cups leeks, chopped and well washed (use the white and light green parts only)
  • 1 cup scallions, chopped (white and light green tender parts only)
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped (if you don't have fresh use 1 1/2 tsp of dry)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups ricotta (I used whole milk ricotta)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano (I used 1/4 cup of each)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • an egg beaten with a splash of water for egg wash
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
In This Recipe

Directions

The Crostata Dough

  1. In food processor, add the flours, salt, and olive oil. Pulse until it starts to come together. Then, with motor running, pour in enough water to make a smooth, very soft dough. You can also use your stand mixer with the dough hook. Take the dough out and place on floured surface and knead, adding more flour as needed until it forms a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes. The dough can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. (If you make dough ahead, bring to room temperature before rolling out.)
  2. Note: Dough can be a bit finicky when rolling out—it can break. That's okay, just piece together in the pan if it does. Also if making a 9x13-inch rectangle crostata, double the recipe for the dough so you will have enough overhang. Part of the beauty of this dish is its rustic quality.

The Greens Filling

  1. Clean your greens well making sure to remove any grit, remove the tough parts of the stems, chop the greens. Chop the leeks, scallions, marjoram and basil. In a large heavy dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leeks, scallions, and shallot, and cook until they soften. Add the red pepper flakes and the chopped greens, marjoram, and basil. Sauté until they are tender and most of the liquid has cooked down. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan, drain any liquid. Set aside.
  2. To a large mixing bowl, add the ricotta, parmigiano, heavy cream, and 3 eggs, plus a big pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, Add the cooled vegetables and mix together. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Heat oven to 375F. Butter a baking pan or rectangular casserole. On a floured surface, roll your dough into a rectangle approximately 22x16-inches. Flour your dough lightly and roll loosely onto your rolling pin. Place in baking pan or casserole. There will be approximately a 2-inch overhang. Don't trim. If your casserole is not that exact size, don't worry—the recipe is very forgiving.
  4. Spoon the filling into the baking pan and bring your dough overhang onto the filling. It will not cover the entire surface. only about a 2-inch border all around. Brush the dough with the egg wash and bake approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then cut into squares. I like to serve with a fresh tomato sauce.

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