Jessica Battilana

Savory Greens Pie

Jessica Battilana
Savory Greens Pie

Serves 6 to 8

You’ll need a 9-inch cake pan with straight sides for this recipe, rather than a pie pan.

For the crust:
1½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the filling:
2½ pounds Swiss chard, spinach or a mixture (about 6 bunches), stemmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (from about 3 large cloves)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grated fontina cheese
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 large egg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Dump the mixture onto a work surface and create a large well in the center. Crack the eggs into the well and add the olive oil. With a fork, mix to break up the eggs, then gradually begin incorporating some of the flour from the walls of the well into the wet ingredients (if there’s a breach in the wall and some of the wet ingredients begin to leak out, don’t worry — simply shore up the well by moving some of the flour and continue working). Continue mixing the dry ingredients into the egg and oil mixture until a sticky, lumpy dough forms.

With a bench scraper, fold the dough over onto itself and incorporate the remaining flour. With your hands, knead the dough until it is smooth, about 2 minutes, adding more flour as needed if the dough is sticking to your hands. Wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and set aside. (The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead; store, tightly wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator until ready to use.)

To make the filling: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the greens in batches and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Use a spider or tongs to transfer the wilted greens to a colander; repeat with the remaining greens, letting the water return to a boil between batches. When all of the greens have been cooked, run cold water over them until they’re cool enough to handle, then squeeze by the handful over the sink to remove as much water as possible and transfer to a cutting board. Coarsely chop, then squeeze a second time (as annoying as this might seem, it’s essential to prevent a soggy filling, which leads to a soggy crust).

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked, chopped greens. Let cool slightly, then stir in the ricotta, fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano and egg and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To finish: Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough into two pieces, one making up about two-thirds of the dough. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the larger piece of dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch cake pan, lining the bottom and sides of the pan and leaving the overhang. Spoon the greens filling into the pan, smoothing it with the back of a spoon into an even layer. Roll the remaining piece of dough into a 9-inch circle and set on top of the filling; fold the overhanging dough over the top, trimming with scissors as needed to even it out. Brush the top of the pie with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut three or four vent holes in the center.

Transfer to the lower rack of the oven and bake until the dough is golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Turn out onto a plate, then flip right-side up onto a second plate or serving platter. Cut into fat wedges and serve.