Make Ahead

Cavolo Nero and Ricotta Tart

March  6, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This tart is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner or, maybe, even all three on the same day. Cavolo nero is also known as Lacinato or dinosaur kale. It is becoming ever more popular not only for its great taste but for its presumed health benefits too. The crust for this tart uses the idea of a shortbread crust to keep it tender while using whole wheat pastry and buckwheat flours. I like to serve the tart with a fruit salad of grapefruit supremes, toasted crushed hazelnuts and mint. While this has many healthy components they are just a nice side benefit to the decadence of this wonderful tart. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • two finger pinch of salt
  • For the filling
  • 1 bunch Cavolo nero, chopped, rinsed and dried, 8 loose cups worth
  • 1 cup yellow onion, peeled, small dice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 anchovy filets, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the whole wheat pastry flour, buckwheat, parmesan, butter and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir it with a wooden spoon until it looks like a combination of cous cous and cornmeal. You may need to rub some of the bigger pieces between you hands to break up the butter.
  3. Dump the crumbs into an 8 inch tart pan. Starting at the edges press the crumbs into the flutes. Use you index finger as a back stop by placing it at the top of the flute and pushing the flour up to it. Pack the crust tightly and evenly. Once you have finished the crust bake it in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven.
  4. While the crust is baking heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a 12 inch saute pan. Add the onions, anchovies and garlic. Season them with a little salt and fresh ground pepper. Saute them gently without coloring and until they are soft. You may need to adjust the heat and you will want to stir them to keep them from coloring.
  5. Once the onions are soft add the Cavolo nero and toss and stir it to coat it with oil. Season again with a little salt and fresh ground pepper. Add the water and cover the pan. Let the Cavolo nero steam until tender but still vibrant in color, about 8 minutes over medium heat.
  6. In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan and the eggs. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Once the Cavolo nero is tender taste it and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Make sure all the water has simmered away from the Cavolo nero, you don't want it to be to wet. Let it cool for a couple of minutes and then add it to the ricotta and stir it well to combine.
  8. Carefully spoon the filling into the tart and smooth and level it out. Place the tart into the oven and bake it for 50 to 60 minutes or until set and nicely browned.
  9. When the top has browned remove the tart from the oven and let it cool to room temperature before cutting. Serve at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • arielleclementine
  • Jaynerly
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Sadassa_Ulna

29 Reviews

Robin J. July 10, 2015
Made this tonight. The crust didn't really work for us (too coarse, too thick), but I did like the buckwheat flavor. I think next time I will make a more traditional crust and sub in a bit of buckwheat. The filling was fantastic (which is why I'll be making it again). The kale got dark and almost crisp, which is what I really loved about it.
Heather February 13, 2015
I don't know if I'll make an anemic all purpose flour crust for anything savory, after making this. I love the texture and flavor the crust adds to this dish. I also love the lightness of the ricotta, rather than heaps of other heavy cheeses. Nicely balanced; filling, healthy and tasty.
AntoniaJames November 8, 2011
Made this again last night . . . . no buckwheat flour in the cupboard, so I used half barley and half AP. Subbed pecorino romano and a hard Spanish sheep's milk cheese for the parmesan. Used Jennifer Perillo's homemade ricotta (made a few minutes before!!) Required only 45 minutes to cook. Let it rest for ten minutes, and served it warm for dinner with roasted butternut squash and lightly sauteed, unsweetened Fuji apple slices. Perfect fall dinner!! ;o)
thirschfeld November 9, 2011
The squash and apples sound great AJ. I've been busy lately and haven't been around much. I was just saying to the Mrs. I need to make this soon, then your message popped up. Guess it is time.
arielleclementine August 30, 2011
we had this for dinner tonight (with your recommended grapefruit salad on the side) - wonderful! lovely tart with an especially lovely crust! thanks for the recipe :)
thirschfeld August 31, 2011
Thank you arielleclementine so glad you enjoyed it . I was just thinking about the tart the other day and can't wait for my kale from the garden to be ready.
Jaynerly March 20, 2011
This sounds so good! I will be growing Cavalo Nero this summer, cant wait to use it in this tart!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 11, 2011
I've yet to try buckwheat in bread or crusts, and can see I need to correct this oversight! I love this recipe!
AntoniaJames March 9, 2011
On the menu tomorrow . . . don't have any buckwheat and current pace of client work means no time to shop, either, so will probably substitute 1/2 barley and 1/2 pumpernickel (rough rye). I am so looking forward to this. And I know the family is going to love it. Will buy buckwheat next time I go to The Food Mill. Very tricky to use, though, as I suspect you're figuring out. ;o)
Sadassa_Ulna March 8, 2011
This sounds (and looks) amazing!
thirschfeld March 8, 2011
Thank you Sadassa-Ulna
Marguerite P. March 8, 2011
everything about this sounds wonderful, but that crust in particular sounds amazing. I am such a sucker for buckwheat. And parmesan.
thirschfeld March 8, 2011
Thanks SaltHands, buckwheat might be my favorite ingredient at the moment.
TasteFood March 6, 2011
I am a kale fan. And I love your use of buckwheat flour. Nice recipe!
thirschfeld March 6, 2011
Thanks TasteFood but back at ya. I have been really enjoying your blog posts of late. Great work!
lastnightsdinner March 6, 2011
This looks fantastic. I love cavolo nero, and love your use of whole wheat and buckwheat flours in the crust.
thirschfeld March 6, 2011
thanks lastnightsdinner. I was just over on twitter and I hope to see a recipe and photo of that rascally rabbit.
hardlikearmour March 6, 2011
Love the kale! Have a packet of Nero Di Toscana seeds from Territorial that I can't wait to plant. Did you make your own ricotta?
thirschfeld March 6, 2011
I have grown kale in the past and this year I plan to grow Nero too. I did not make my own ricotta but I have made ricotta in the past. There is a great recipe on food52 by Jennifer Perillo for homemade ricotta under her recipe for manicotti
Sunchowder March 6, 2011
Wowsa! This looks so yummy!!! :)
thirschfeld March 6, 2011
thank you Sunchowder
Kiss M. March 6, 2011
You never fail to bring it on. Off to the market as soon as I stop choking on my saliva!
thirschfeld March 6, 2011
thank you and if you make it let me know how you like it
boulangere March 6, 2011
This looks fantastic! Love the buckwheat in the crust and ricotta in the filling.
thirschfeld March 6, 2011
thank you boulangere
drbabs March 6, 2011
thirschfeld March 6, 2011
thanks drbabs
healthierkitchen March 6, 2011
Mmmmmm. I love your crust! I have some buckwheat flour that I bought for a Kim Boyce recipe.
thirschfeld March 6, 2011
I love buckwheat flour and Good to the Grain is awesome too