Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Swiss Chard and Ricotta Crostata

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Ingredients for the crust:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup mascarpone
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 stick cold butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
2 eggs

Ingredients for the filling:
extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch white Swiss chard, stems removed cut into 1/4-inch lengths, leaves cut into 1-inch lengths
2 leeks, tough green tops removed, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch lengths
2 to 3 T water
kosher salt
2 cups fresh ricotta
1 cup grated parmesan
2 eggs
pinch of cayenne pepper

egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 2 T water

Preparing the crush:
Combine the flour, parmesan, mascarpone, salt, cayenne and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it looks very dry and crumbly. Add the eggs and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Remove the dough from the food processor, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preparing the filling:
Coat a large saute pan generously with olive oil. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium heat. When the garlic has become golden brown and is aromatic remove it and discard. Add the Swiss chard stems, leeks and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and season with salt. When the water has evaporated and the stems and leeks are soft, add the leaves. Season the leaves with salt and saute until they are very soft and wilted. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

Combine the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, cayenne and the Swiss chard mixture in a large bowl and mix to thoroughly combine. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To assemble:
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and set out to come to room temperature (about 10 to 15 minutes); this will make it really much easier to roll out.

Dust a large clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into a large circle about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a large sheet pan or tray lined with parchment paper. Lay the dough out flat. Put the filling in a large circle in the center of the rolled out dough leaving a 3 to 4-inch border of dough along the outside edge. Fold the dough up around the filling to make a "free-form pie". Brush the top of the dough with egg wash and bake in the preheated oven until the crust is firm, golden brown and shiny, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing, this will allow it to up for easier slicing.

Serves 8 to 10


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