Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Swiss Chard, Sausage and Ricotta Pie

This recipe is from our Homewood CSA member Julia Galeazzi! It was a hit at her recent dinner party.

From the September/October 2009 issue of "Tastes of Italia":

As soon as there is a cool breeze in the air, you will love this "green" pie. Of course, you may use spinach, but try this with cooked Swiss chard. Serve it hot, although it is delicious at room temperature also. This is a conversation piece. your family and friends will want to know what's inside the pie.

1/2 pound Italian sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 cups cooked Swiss chard, drained well*
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 prepared pastry crusts, such as Pillsbury
1 egg white, beaten

Remove sausage from casing and crumble it in a large saucepan with the olive oil. Brown it 8 to 10 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

There should be about 2 to 3 tablespoons fat in the pan; if there is more remove and discard or reserve for another use. Saute onions 5 minutes until they turn color.

Remove pan from the heat, and add the cooked Swiss chard. Mix it with the onions. Then, add the Parmesan and ricotta cheeses, 4 beaten eggs and the sausage meat, and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fit one pastry into the bottom of a 10-inch pie dish. Brush the inside of the pastry, including the sides, with the beaten egg white, reserving a bit for the top pastry, and fill the pie. Cover with the second pie crust, merging the 2 crusts into a decorative pattern, and brush the remaining egg white over the top. With a sharp knife, make 4 or 5 small slits in the top pastry. Bake for about 40 minutes until a rich golden color is achieved. Remove from oven, rest a few minutes and slice.

Makes 8 servings.

*To cook Swiss chard: discard overgrown leaves, remove white stems and peel them (as if destringing celery stalks) and cut into 1-inch lengths. Chop leaves into 1-inch square pieces and cook in salted boiling water with stems. Drain very well and finish them off in 2 tablespoons olive oil with 2 garlic cloves. Remove cloves and cool and then add to the other ingredients in the filling.

Julia's notes: I omitted the salt, and it came out fine. The part that takes the longest is washing and cooking the swiss chard. If you don't have all day or the patience to prep, I suggest you buy pre-washed spinach and skip the cooking in boiling water. You can just go to the "finish in olive oil and garlic" step, which I did in a saute pan. (Spinach leaves wilt quickly in a saute, unlike swiss chard, which requires the boiling first.) Also, when the recipe says to "rest a few minutes", I'm pretty sure that means to rest the pie, but it is also a good time to take a rest yourself before digging in! Enjoy :)

Monday, November 2, 2009


Kohlrabi is a relatively unknown vegetable in the Americas, so good and easy recipes can be hard to come by. Luckily, though, kohlrabi is a surprisingly versatile food to work with. You can substitute most dishes with broccoli, potatoes, or turnips with kohlrabi to change up some of your normal meals, or add it to soups or sautes. It sure is an odd thing to behold, but once you try kohlrabi for the first time, you'll be wanting more. The following recipes are ones that I've been able to try out in the short time I've had since discovering it. Feel free to respond with some of your favorite kohlrabi dishes - I am also looking for more to try!

Easy Roasted Kohlrabi

1-1 1/2 lbs. kohlrabi, skinned and diced
a tablespoon or so of olive oil (enough to coat the kohlrabi)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt to taste
good vinegar

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the diced kohlrabi in the olive oil, adding the garlic and salt as you mix (feel free to add additional herbs and spices to your taste). Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Kohlrabi should be tender when poked with a fork. Sprinkle with a good vinegar right before serving.

Kohlrabi Puree
courtesy of

4 kohlrabi bulbs with leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons cream (or milk, water, stock, or olive oil - whatever you have on hand)
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Trim the kohlrabi bulbs, peeling them if the skins seem tough. Rinse the leaves (discarding any that are yellow) pat them dry, and coarsely chop. Set aside. But the bulbs into 1-inch chunks. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, and add the kohlrabi chunks. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, another 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let garlic brown. Add the mushrooms and the reserved kohlrabi leaves to the skillet. Cover, and cook 5 minutes. Then uncover, and cook, stirring, until all the liquid has evaporated, 3 minutes. Set the skillet aside. Drain the kohlrabi chunks and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the mushroom mixture and all the remaining ingredients. Purée until smooth. Transfer the purée to a saucepan and reheat over low heat, stirring, 2 minutes.

Kohlrabi & Apple Slaw with Creamy Coleslaw Dressing

adapted from A Veggie Venture blog

1 pound kohlrabi, peeled and grated
2 apples (or enough to equal the quantity of the kohlrabi), peeled and grated
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon good mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh mint, chopped
about a handful of craisins

Directions: whisk cream into light pillows, about a minute. Stir in all other ingredients, including the kohlrabi and apple. Serve immediately.