Savory Swiss Chard and Onion Pie Recipe
Savory pies are something that, in my experience, don't often populate the American dinner table, which is a shame because there are some quite splendid ones other than the ubiquitous Shepherd's pie. The dish I'm showcasing tonight combines sautéed onions, Swiss chard, a healthy amount of garlic, and some nuts—with an optional, but recommended, helping of Swiss or Mozzarella cheese to complete the picture. It has a delicious hearty flavor, but the flavor's kept light and green by the vegetable filling. The crust has a nice crunch (more flaky; neither hard, nor soft, but a pleasure to eat), and the good, wholesome crunch complements the picture. Furthermore, it isn't that difficult to make: a simple crust, sautéed onions, chopped garlic and nuts, and some shredded Swiss Chard, then baking, and you're ready to go! And best of all, it is easy to modify, and you can add in plenty of other things, such as mushrooms, other vegetables, maybe even meat, etc. And for those interested in leftovers, the pie is perhaps even better when it is cold!
I have adapted this recipe from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells. This is a great cookbook with a lot of good recipes, but personally I didn't like the original version of this one. In fact, it had actually been because of its strangeness that I had elected to make it, because it was a rather odd mixture of raisins and Swiss chard, which was labeled as a desert of all things! In my opinion, the two did not go together well, and thus I set out to make something that would be a savory recipe, culminating in this.
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cups water
- 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon + salt to taste salt
- 2 bunches swiss chard, (around 3/4 pound)
- 1 onion
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 7 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup Swiss or mozzarella cheese, (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- pepper to taste
- Start first with making the crust. This is done by combing together in a medium sized bowl the 3 cups of flour with the 1 teaspoon of salt, then adding in the 3/4 cup water. Then add in the 3/4 cup of olive oil. Stir it together until it is combined, then kneed it. It should be smooth and ductile. Separate into two balls of equal size.
- Remove the Swiss chard leaves from the stalk and place into at least a medium sized bowl (the previously used one can work) after it is shredded to appropriately small sized pieces. Combine the chard with 2 eggs and mix it together throughly. Add the garlic salt and the walnuts.
- Sautée the onion over the stove with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 clove of garlic. When it has started to turn soft, add it into the Swiss chard and make sure that the egg covers it all.
- Either roll out or mold manually one of the dough balls to be large enough to cover the bottom of a 10 inch pie dish or a springform pan. If one intends to remove it afterwards, place cooking spray as appropriate. If one has opted to use cheese in the recipe, either mix it with the other ingredients in the bowl, or layer it on top once they are in the cooking vessel. If the latter, spread the chard and its various other components into the baking dish and make sure they are evenly distributed and then place the cheese on top. Roll out the other dough ball to be large enough to cover, then place it over the chard and connect it to the edges of the bottom crust.
- Place the pie into the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow a short period to cool afterwards, at which point is ready.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas