Spinach Tart (Torta de Spinaci) is a delicious way to get an abundance of the oh-so-important and delectable greens.
This dish is a divine blend of spinach, ricotta, eggs and cheese baked together in a round cake pan. It’s called a tart, but it’s really more of a rustic soufflé, because it has no crust.
Whatever its name, it is a delicious recipe from The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends by Elizabeth Minchilli.
The Italian Table explores some of the ways Italians gather around the table. and it details how you can recreate the essence of these experiences at your home.
Each chapter has an inspiring party menu based on a theme and a location in Italy.
There is a chapter for everyone to love in The Italian Table. The photos alone will transport you to Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country).
Elizabeth includes resources for Italian ingredients, recipe shortcuts, serving and drink suggestions, table décor inspiration, and how to time the preparation as well as the party itself. Not only are the recipes intriguing, but it’s a useful guide too.
I recently met Elizabeth at a meet and greet luncheon at Melissa’s Produce. Here are a few of the recipes that I sampled.
Today’s Recipe: Spinach Tart
Elizabeth said the recipe was originally made with nettles but used spinach to help her readers out. I see these furry greens at the Farmer’s Market and never know what to do with them. The fact that the whole idea of this crazy green plant is to sting has always kept me at bay. It obviously doesn’t want to be eaten so I happily comply. Elizabeth suggests that you can substitute any leafy green such as Swiss chard, dandelion greens or kale.
This recipe comes together quickly and is perfect for breakfast, for lunch with a salad, or even for a light, bright supper. If you would like to try a vegan twist on this recipe please check out my girlfriend Natalie’s delicious version on her blog The Devil Wears Parsley.
SPINACH TART - Tortu di Spinaci
This delicious and nutritious Spinach Tart comes together quickly and is perfect for breakfast or for lunch with a salad.
- 2 pounds fresh spinach or other greens
- 1 cup fresh ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano grated (1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves or ½ teaspoon dried
- 4 tablespoons ½ stick salted butter melted
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- A few grindings of black pepper
Place the greens in a pot with about an inch of water and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until wilted. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the greens into a ball, squeezing out every last drop of moisture.
You should have about 1 cup of greens. Roughly chop the greens and set aside.
About an hour before you are going to bake the tart, place the ricotta in a fine sieve and drain it over a bowl to remove the excess whey.
Preheat the oven to 350°Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
Put the chopped greens in clean bowl with the drained ricotta, whole egg and yolk, milk, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ¾ cup of the Parmigiana, the marjoram, butter, salt, and pepper. Mix well with a fork.
Pour the mixture into the pan, leveling off the top with the back of a spoon. Cover with the remaining olive oil and Parmigiana.
Bake for 50 minutes, until the tart begins to brown and is well set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and, using an offset spatula, turn it out onto a serving platter. Serve.
My Italian Table is an informative and fun guide for home cooks and those who love to entertain. Throwing your own Italian party couldn’t be easier, thanks to Elizabeth.
…and then, she paused for thought.