I’ve been on a pie-baking kick lately and I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with different fillings for savory pies. This recipe is my most recent (and successful) incarnation of a savory vegetable and cheese pie. It turned out so well, I had to share it with you. Savory pies make a great main course or a killer side dish. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days and I enjoy the leftovers with a fried egg for breakfast. You’ll probably find it doesn’t stick around that long though; this is one of my boyfriend’s favorites and he usually makes short work of it. (I have to specifically ask him to save me some!)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup warm water
- Mix together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the olive oil and mix until moistened.
- Stir in the warm water.
- Knead the dough until it’s soft and elastic but not sticky.
- Divide the dough into two portions, one for the top crust and one for the bottom. The portion for the bottom crust should be slightly larger.
- Set the dough aside while you prepare the filling.
- 1 bunch of Kale
- 1 sweet potato
- 6 spring onions
- 8 oz fresh ricotta cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cube the the sweet potato and chop the kale and spring onions. Finely chop the garlic.
- In a large pot combine the olive oil and garlic and cook over medium heat until fragrant.
- Add the sweet potato, kale and spring onions and cook until everything has softened and cooked down but is not mushy. About 5-10 minutes.
- Add the cumin, paprika, and cinnamon.
- Remove from heat and drain off any excess liquid.
- Stir in the ricotta cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Assembling the Pie:
- Select a pie dish about 2 inches deep and 10 inches wide.
- On a floured surface, roll out the the larger portion of the dough. Place it into the bottom of the dish and shape it so it comes up and over the sides of the dish.
- Transfer the filling to the dish and spread it out evenly over the dough.
- Roll out the second portion of dough and place it over the filling, so that it meets the edge of the dish. Shape and trim the dough as needed.
- Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal.
- Puncture the center of the dough with an one inch X
Bake for 50 minutes to one hour.
My birthday was this past week and my sweetie took me out for a lovely dinner at Gather Restaurant in Berkeley. Gather specializes in local and organic Californian Cuisine that can satisfy everyone, from vegan to carnivore. With such a commitment to sustainability you might think they would be a little precious about their food (tiny servings, weird combinations) but Gather does sustainable gourmet that delights your taste buds and leaves you with a full belly and a smile.
Andrew and I split an appetizer, entree, salad, and dessert and It was more than enough food for us both. We started off with mushroom bruschetta which was surprisingly rich and extreamly flavorful. For the main course we ordered roasted duck with pesto on a bed of duck sausage and pureed artichoke. The duck was so tender and the flavors so complex that I had to close my eyes to concentrate on the taste. The kale salad with roasted carrots, capers, and almonds was a perfect complement to the duck. For dessert we had hazelnut chocolate cake with cashew-cinnamon “ice cream.” The meal was truly amazing and I enjoyed every mouthwatering bite.
Along with the amazing dinner we had a few fancy cocktails. Delicious dinner, yummy drinks and great company: what more could a girl want on her birthday? Dinner at Gather was real treat. If your looking for a nice evening out in the Bay Area, I recommend you give it a try!
I recently became a member of a CSA (community supported agriculture) project with Full Belly Farms. Every week you receive a box of fresh, organic fruits and veggies and in turn you are supporting local farmers. My first produce box came this week and I was so excited! I didn’t know what the box contained and after picking it up at the farmer’s market I rushed home to see what was inside. This week’s box contained butternut squash, celery root, leeks, red russian kale, oranges, cabbage, and walnuts. I couldn’t be more pleased. It was a great mix of old favorites and new (to me) veggies. I have to say, I’m hooked. The produce is delicious, it mixes up my diet, and you get that tingly (and slightly self-righteous) I-just-did-good-for-the-earth feeling for eating organic and local.
I’ve already dug in and ate much of what the box contained. So far, my favorite thing was the red russian kale. I cooked it with leeks, walnuts, and some golden raisins I had in the pantry. It was a delicious blend of sweet and savory. Here is the recipe in case you want to try it for yourself.
Red Russian Kale with Walnuts & Golden Raisins
- 1 bundle of Red Russian Kale
- 2 leeks
- 1/3 cup chopped golden raisins
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Chop the the kale stems, garlic and leeks and sauté in 1 tbs. of olive oil for 5 minutes.
- Add the walnuts and raisins and cook for a few more minutes.
- Reduce heat and add the leaves of the kale and a few tablespoons of water and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cover and steam for about five minutes.
- Stir, cover, and repeat until the leaves are tender but not mushy.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. By the way, if anyone out there has a good recipe for celery root or butternut squash, please let me know! This is the first opportunity I’ve had to cook celery root and I only have limited experience cooking with butternut squash, so I need some ideas. Be well and have a wonderful weekend!