Who’s excited to learn about beet and kale pie???? Huh? Huh? (crickets chirping) Yeah, that’s right. I took two of the least loved vegetables and made something not only delicious, but absolutely beautiful. Don’t believe me? Just trust me and keep on reading.
Let me start my argument by telling you about the crust: an olive oil crust. Easy to assemble by adding olive oil and salt to flour, you end up with a crust that is crisp, buttery and just a hint fruity in flavor. Essentially, this tastes just like an olive oil and sea salt cracker when baked. This was the perfect base for my pie as it was sturdy and its flavors nicely balanced the bitter kale and sweet beets.
My next argument in favor of this tart– it’s packed full of cheese. I boiled down the kale after it had been chopped then squeezed it dry before mixing it in to a bowl of ricotta, parmesan, and shredded mozzarella cheese. The green flecked, creamy mixture was spread on my bottom pie shell then topped with slices of garnet red, roasted beets. I then topped it with the remaining pie crust then baked until golden.
Don’t believe me that this was delicious? My final argument– I made this pie then at the last minute, had dinner plans with a friend from graduate school, leaving this pie behind for John’s dinner. I came home to find half the pie had been eaten in one sitting! John insisted on the pie’s deliciousness and when I had a slice for my lunch the next day, I had to absolutely agree. The cheese was gooey, with the combination of mozzarella and parmesan adding nutty, slightly salty flavors which paired beautifully with the sweet and vegetal flavors of the beets and kale. If you’re looking for a beautiful dish to feed vegetarians at your Christmas table this week, give this a try. It’s gorgeous to look at and is just as satisfying in its taste.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 beaten egg white
- large flake sea salt for topping
- 4 medium red beets
- olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bunch kale, leaves removed from stems and finely chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 15 oz part-skim ricotta
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 large egg
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a 10 inch pie plate with cooking spray and set aside.
Start by roasting the beets. Scrub beets clean and trim off the tops and bottoms of each beet. Cut each beet in half lengthwise then place on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Top with the thyme sprigs then wrap tightly in foil. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until beet pieces are tender. Let cool to touch before peeling skins off and slicing into 1/4 inch thick slices.
While beets roast and cool, assemble crust and make the kale and cheese filling.
To assemble crust, whisk together flour and salt. Add the olive oil and mix in until crumbly. Drizzle in the water starting with 1/2 cup while mixing with a fork. Gradually add the rest of the water as necessary until dough clumps together. Knead a little in the bowl to form dough into a ball then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into two pieces, with one piece just a little bigger than the other. Roll the smaller piece out to fit the pie plate and transfer to pie pan. Roll the other piece so that it is large enough to cover the pie and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt generously, say about 2 tablespoons salt. Add the chopped kale leaves and cook until wilted, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and run cold water over until cool to touch. Pile kale leaves into a clean kitchen towel or in paper towel and squeeze out excess water. Place dried out kale in a medium bowl and add garlic, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, and about 1 teaspoon salt with 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread this mixture over the bottom pie crust. Top with beet slices then carefully place top crust layer on top. Cut several vents into top of pie then brush with beaten egg white. Sprinkle with large flakes of sea salt and bake for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
CSA Count: 2
Garden Count: 1