This is a favorite on the antipasto platter at our restaurant Becco, in Manhattan’s theater district. It is wonderful as an appetizer or as a passed hors d’oeuvre at parties.
- Crostata Dough
- 3 pounds Swiss chard
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped trimmed leeks (white and light green parts only)
- 2 cups chopped trimmed scallions (white and green parts)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram, basil or thyme
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups ricotta, preferably fresh
- 1 cup freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with a few drops of water or extra virgin olive oil for the crust
Make the crostata dough.
Prepare the chard according to the directions in the first step of Swiss Chard and Potatoes.
In a large, heavy casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until they are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the chard, scallions and marjoram and season lightly with salt and pepper. Adjust the level of heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly and cool the mixture to room temperature.
Combine the ricotta, Grana Padano, eggs and cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix at low speed until blended. Add the cooled vegetables and mix thoroughly at low speed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Beat in the eggs.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter an 18- x 12-inch baking pan with sides about 1/2-inch high.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 22- x 16-inch rectangle. Flour the surface as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. Fold the dough into quarters, center it over the prepared pan and unfold it. The dough should overlap all the sides by about 2 inches.
Pour the chard mixture into the dough-lined pan and smooth into an even layer. Fold the overhanging dough over the filling to form a two inch border on all sides. Brush the dough lightly with the egg yolk or olive oil. Bake until the filling is firm in the center and lightly browned and the crust is deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool the crostata about 30 minutes, cut into squares and serve warm.