Lent starts next Wednesday and with it starts my resolution to give up meat as much as possible. It seems like my family (with the exception of mom), loves meat a little too much. Eating more meatless dinners will help us to make a Lenten sacrifice as a family. I plan on sharing these Lenten recipes on this blog. I do have a cooking and garden blog, but I think I will share it with my friends here.
Today, I will share the recipe for Swiss Chard and Beet Tops Pie. I made the pie last night in order to utilize the very fresh huge beets, tops and all and large Swiss chard leaves my friend shared with me yesterday afternoon. I originally wanted to use phyllo leaves to a kind of Spanakopita but as usual, I wanted to use what I had at hand. Therefore, I used a ready-made pie crust. Next time I will make the pie crust from scratch because that way the salt content can be controlled.
The original recipe I found for Swiss Chard Pie was Martha Stewart's and it can be found here. I modified it in order to be able to use the cast iron skillet instead of cooking the greens in a pot and to cook the greens in a manner I am more accustomed to preparing.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Two pie crusts (ready-made or home made) Place one crust into a deep pie plate or cake can.
Approximately 6 cups of combination of fresh Swiss chard leaves and/or beet tops (wash and remove most of the moisture but they don't have to be very dry).
Approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small onion, sliced very thinly
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes or Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper (careful not too use too much salt. A little goes a long way in this dish)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or feta cheese
Barely two tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice and lemon zest. I used Meyer lemon juice and unfortunately, the zest has no flavor.
After washing the greens, remove the stems and slice them all thinly. Heat a large cast iron skillet. Add the olive oil along with the garlic and onions. Fry until the onions are translucent. Add the stems and cook until the stems are soft, approximately 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes or Cayenne pepper. Remove everything to a bowl. Add a little more oil and add the torn leaves into the skillet. Cover the skillet with a lid and lower heat. Since the leaves should still be a little moist, no water is needed to be added. Cook until all water is absorbed and leaves are cooked. Add the cooked leaves to the bowl containing the cooked stems. Toss with the cheese, flour and lemon juice (and zest). Add this point, a little salt and pepper can be added to season the filling.
Pour into the pie crust and cover with the second pie crust. Press and seal carefully. Cut slits into the top. You can brush an egg wash on top of the pie crust to give it a nice golden glaze. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden grown. Serves approximately 6 people for dinner.