Dried herbs, garlic and fennel give this rustic tart a familiar Italian sausage-like flavor. The olive oil-based pastry comes together in a snap in the food processor. The recipe comes from The Vegetable Butcher cookbook, by Cara Mangini.

Source: Midwest Living


Recipe Summary

45 mins
2 hrs 40 mins


Fennel Seed Pastry


Instructions Checklist
  • For pastry: In a food processor or large bowl, pulse or stir together the fennel seeds, flour, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Add 1/2 cup of the olive oil and pulse or stir to combine. With motor running, or while stirring, pour in 1/2 cup ice water (no ice), then add more as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just begins to form a ball. It should be wet and smooth, but not too sticky.

  • Knead dough on a lightly floured board for about 30 seconds until it comes together fully. If it pulls apart or is dry and tough, return it to the food processor or bowl, add up to 2 tablespoons more water, and blend or stir until it is just incorporated. Flatten dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

  • For crostata: Preheat oven to 375°. In a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven, cook onion in remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat about 2 minutes, or just until softened. Add garlic and chard stems; cook about 5 minutes or until stems begin to soften. Add chard leaves, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning and nutmeg. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until leaves have fully wilted and any liquid has cooked off, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

  • On a piece of parchment paper, roll the pastry into a 15-inch circle that is a little less than 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the parchment and dough to a large baking sheet (the dough can hang over the edges for now).

  • In a large bowl, lightly beat 3 of the eggs. Stir in the chard mixture, ricotta, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the green onions. Spread the chard mixture over the pastry, leaving a border of about 1 1/2 inches. If desired, trim any dough edges that seem too long or thick. Gently fold the dough border up and over the filling, pleating it as you go. Whisk together the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water; brush over crust.

  • Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is firm in center. Slide crostata (still on the parchment) onto a wire rack; cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.(Leftovers are good cold, or reheated on a baking sheet at 375° for about 10 minutes.)


Leftovers of this crostata are delicious cold, but you can also reheat them on a baking sheet at 375°F. until warmed through, 10 to 12 minutes.

To use fresh herbs in place of the dried Italian seasoning, combine 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram leaves, 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves.
To use kale, collards, or mustard greens in place of Swiss chard, first blanch the chopped greens (omit the stems) in boiling water until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and rise them. Squeeze them gently to release excess water and proceed as you would with Swiss chard. (Mustard greens will offer a more bitter flavor)

Nutrition Facts

435 calories; fat 8g; cholesterol 117mg; saturated fat 8g; carbohydrates 32g; mono fat 16g; poly fat 3g; insoluble fiber 3g; sugars 2g; protein 15g; vitamin a 5659.2IU; vitamin c 28mg; thiamin 0.3mg; riboflavin 0.5mg; niacin equivalents 2.3mg; vitamin b6 0.2mg; folate 91.1mcg; vitamin b12 0.5mcg; sodium 839mg; potassium 487mg; calcium 228mg; iron 3.9mg.