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Swiss Chard Pie

(heavily inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe)


Slice a red onion finely, and fry it gently in olive oil, adding the sliced stems of the Swiss chard and three finely chopped cloves of garlic as it starts to soften. Finely shred the leaves and add to the pan with a splash of boiling water. As they start to wilt, add a large handful of chopped herbs, ideally parsley, mint and sage, and a handful of pine kernels. (Don't leave out the herbs or be mean with them, they make a big difference to the finished dish.) Season well and leave to cool completely.


Take a packet of ready made (all butter) puff or shortcrust pastry, or some home-made shortcrust or rough puff pastry, and roll it out to a large, rough circle. Place it on an oiled baking tray and spread the chard in the centre of it, to cover about half of the area. Dot over half a tub of ricotta, or another soft cheese, and scatter over grated hard cheese. (The pie can be all Dorset with a soft goat's cheese and cheddar, or all Italian with ricotta and parmesan, it's up to you. Feta also works well.)


Pull up the sides all around to partially cover the filling. Gather the pastry up and pinch it together so that it stays up, containing the juice, but with the centre of the pie exposed. This is peasant cookery, it won't look elegant! Brush the exposed pastry with beaten egg and, if you are like me and hate waste, dribble the remaining egg over the pie filling. Bake in a hot oven for half an hour until the pastry is golden.


Serve with a green salad. Leftovers are very good at room temperature.

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