Spinach and Swiss Chard Ricotta Galette

By Margi Lenga Kahn

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 medium leeks, dark green portion discarded, light portion finely chopped

2 medium shallots, finely chopped

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2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 pounds fresh spinach, stems discarded, rinsed and coarsely chopped

2 bunches Swiss chard, stems and large ribs discarded, rinsed and coarsely chopped

1 cup (8 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (approximately 2 ounces), plus more for sprinkling

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1½ tbsp. toasted pine nuts

2 large eggs, lightly beaten, 2 tsp. set aside for brushing pastry

Pastry crust

Directions: 

Heat olive oil in a very large, deep pot over medium heat.  Add leeks, shallots and garlic and sauté five to 10 minutes to soften. Raise heat and add large handfuls of spinach and chard to fill the pot.  Once the vegetables begin to wilt, add remaining greens. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture has evaporated, about 15-25 minutes.

Transfer greens mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Stir in ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and pine nuts.  Add beaten eggs (setting aside 1 tsp. for brushing pastry), nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well to combine. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad.

Sprinkle counter lightly with flour.  Remove 1 pastry disc from refrigerator and roll pastry into a 14-inch circle, dusting with additional flour to keep it from sticking to rolling pin and counter. Drape dough over rolling pin and carefully transfer pastry to prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining pastry.

Spoon half of greens mixture into the center of each pastry and spread evenly, leaving a 2-inch  border all around.  Carefully fold borders over filling by lifting one section at a time toward the center.   Pleat or fold pastry to make it lay flat. (The center of the galette will remain uncovered.) 

Combine remaining beaten egg with 1 tsp. water and use it to brush the borders of each pastry. Sprinkle each pastry border lightly with Parmesan cheese and bake galette for 30-40 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.  Transfer pans to cooling racks and let rest for five minutes.  Carefully slide galette onto serving platters and cut into wedges to serve. 

Yield: Makes one large galette, or four to six main dish servings.