From The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini

As you are using fennel seeds in the crust, I would add some thinly sliced fennel to the sauce portion of this recipe.

3 TB. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Onions, from this week’s share, finely chopped

4 to 5 Garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 lb Swiss Chard and/or Collard Greens, stems cut into 1/4” dice to equal 1 cup, and leaves sliced into 1/4” ribbons (to equal 15 loosely packed cups)

1 tsp fine Sea Salt

1/2 tsp crushed Red Pepper flakes

2 tsp dried Italian Seasoning or us a few TB of fresh chopped Basil from this week’s share

2 pinches of ground Nutmeg

4 large Eggs

1/2 cup chopped Scallions, use the green tops from the onions in this week’s share

1 cup Ricotta Cheese 

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Fennel Seed Crust (Recipe on this page)

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until it just begins to soften, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and chard stems and cook until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  If you are using collards, first blanch the chopped greens (omit the stems) in boiling water until tender about 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse them.  Squeeze them gently to release excess water and proceed as you would with Swiss chard.   Add the chard leaves (in batches if needed to fit the pan), salt, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and nutmeg.  If you are using fresh basil as your seasoning add that at the end when the cooking is done.  Cook until leaves have fully wilted and any liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes more.  Turn off the heat and let cool.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F.  On a piece of parchment, flatten the crostata dough and roll it from the center outward with a lightly floured rolling pin.  Turn the dough and parchment as you go to create a circular shape about 15” in diameter and a little less than 1/4” thick.  Don't bother trying to make a perfect circle, but do try to even out the thickness of the dough.  Transfer the parchment and dough to a rimless baking sheet (the dough can hang over the edges for now).  In a small bowl, lightly beat 1 of the eggs with 1 teaspoon of water to make an egg wash; set it aside.  In a large bowl, lightly beat together the remaining eggs, then stir in the chard mixture scallions, ricotta, and parmesan to combine.  Transfer the chard mixture to the dough, spreading it out evenly but leaving a border of about 1 1/2”. Trim any dough edges that seem too long or thick.  Gently fold the dough border up and over the filling, pleating it as you go.  Brush the dough lightly with the egg wash.  Bake the crostata until the crust is golden brown and the filling is firm in the center, 40 to 45 minutes.  Slide the crostata, still on the parchment, onto a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.  It can be served warm or at room temperature.

Fennel Seed Crust

Makes a 15” round of dough

2 tsp Fennel Seeds (optional, but strongly recommended)

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp fine Sea Salt

1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Up to 1/2 cup plus 2 TB Ice Water

Toast the fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, continuously stirring or shaking the pan, until the seeds are golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Let cool.  In a food processor or large bowl, briefly pulse or stir together the fennel seeds, flour, salt and parmesan until just incorporated.  Add the olive oil and blend or stir to combine.  While the processor is running, or while stirring, pour in a 1/2 cup of the ice water (no ice), then add more as needed, 1 TB at a time, until the dough just begins to form a ball.  It should be wet and smooth, but should not stick to your fingers.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured board for about 30 seconds until it comes together fully.  If it pulls apart at all or is dry and tough, place it back in the food processor bowl, add up to 2 TB more water and blend or stir until it is just incorporated.  Flatten the ball of dough just slightly and wrap it in plastic; let is rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day in advance of assembling the crostata.