Anya Fernald’s approach to cooking is anything but timid and this torta di verdure is a perfect example. Her execution is unfussy, with the singular goal of making delicious, exuberantly flavored, unpretentious food with the best ingredients. Inspired by the humble traditions of cucina povera, the frugal cooking of Italian peasants, Anya brings a forgotten pragmatism to home cooking, making use of seasonal bounty by canning and preserving fruits and vegetables, salt curing fish, simmering flavorful broths with leftover bones, and transforming tough cuts of meat into supple stews and sauces with long cooking.Print
Torta di Verdure
I love this torta de verdure, a rich, savory pie made with whatever greens I find at the farmers’ market. I’ve made it with kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, radish tops, beet greens, half a bunch of parsley—if it’s green and leafy, it’s going in the torta! A generous amount of olive oil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano enriches the greens and prevents the torta from feeling too restrained, too healthful. Serve thin wedges of this as a starter.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Category: Main course
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
FOR THE DOUGH
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
FOR THE FILLING
- 4 bunches kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, collard greens, radish greens, or a mixture, thick center ribs removed and discarded, leaves torn into large pieces (about 16 cups raw greens)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged Asiago, or dry Jack cheese
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Make the dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, water, olive oil, and salt. Mix on medium speed until a smooth dough forms, then wrap the dough ball in plastic and let rest at room temperature while you make the filling.
Make the filling: Wash the greens well. In a large pot, bring a few inches of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the greens and cook until they wilt, about 2 minutes. (Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to do this in batches.) Transfer the wilted greens to a colander and let cool. When cool enough to handle, grab handfuls and squeeze firmly over the sink to remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the eggs: cheese, olive oil, salt, and nutmeg to the food processor and pulse until the greens are finely chopped and the mixture is well combined.
Preheat the oven to 375°F: Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and cut into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. With a rolling pin, roll the larger piece of dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter and transfer to a 10-inch round cast-iron frying pan or ceramic pie plate, leaving the overhang. Add the filling, smoothing it into an even layer. Roll the second piece of dough into a 10-inch circle and use it to top the pie. Pull the overhanging dough over the top piece of dough to seal, then cut a few steam vents in the top crust with the tip of a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
Brush the top of the pie with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake until golden brown, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then cut into wedges. Serve warm.
Reprinted with permission from Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook by Anya Fernald with Jessica Battilana, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photo by Brown W. Cannon lll
- Serving Size: 6
Keywords: torta di verdure