Skip to content

Subscribe to campari&sofa and receive new posts via email

Rustic escarole tart

Posted in Food & Entertaining

I was making carrot soup a few nights ago, and I added a giant parsnip.

“What is that?” my sister asked.

I had no good answer in Italian. I couldn’t retrieve the corresponding vegetable in my mother’s tongue. So we looked it up. In Italian, a parsnip is called pastinaca, a noun neither of us had ever heard before. Upon further digging, this vegetable, while fairly common in ancient times, is pretty much non-existent today in most of Europe.

Californian farmer’s markets can be daunting for outsiders. I know they were for me, to begin with, filled as they are with unfamiliar vegetables and fruits, or with obscure varietals of more familiar fare.

On the other hand, vegetables that are easy to find in the old country, can be challenging to find here. Take escarole, for example, a pale, curly green from the endive family, but much less bitter than Belgian endive. It took several trips to different markets to find some. My sister was insistent in wanting to make an escarole tart, which is a traditional dish from Naples.

This is the Roman version and a quicker one too. The traditional one – called pizza in Naples – is indeed made with pizza dough but, for the sake of putting dinner on the table within an hour, we used puff pastry.. A little bit different from your usual savory tart, it takes very little time to put it together and it’s extremely tasty.

RECIPE

2 puff pastry sheet
2 escarole heads, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/2 C black olives, chopped
3 T capers
1/4 C pine nuts
1/4 C raisins
1 anchovy fillet, minced
1 head of garlic, peeled and smashed
olive oil as needed
red pepper flakes to taste
salt
1 egg, beaten

  • Cook the escarole in salted, boiling water for a couple of minutes. Drain well by squeezing all the water out.
  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add the garlic. Drop in the escarole and sauté for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Transfer the escarole to a bowl and remove the garlic. Add the olives, pine nuts, raisins and the anchovy. Mix well.
  • Spread the mixture on a puff pastry sheet, leaving a fairly large border. Cover with the second sheet and pinch the pastry together. Brush the top with the egg and, using a toothpick, prick the dough.
  • Bake at 350F/180C for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through and golden.

Top image: a proper escarole tart made with pizza dough

Share on Facebook

15 Comments

  1. Thank you, I love rustic tarts, I always appreciate a new one

    February 2, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I could subsist on vegetable tarts and pizza if left to my own devices.

      February 3, 2017
      |Reply
      • Grazie! Prima o poi dovrò ricompensarti per queste lezioni di inglese, non conoscevo questa espressione, if left to my own devices 🙂

        February 3, 2017
        |Reply
        • camparigirl
          camparigirl

          Stick around and you will learn more. Buon weekend.

          February 4, 2017
          |Reply
          • I know 😉 Anche a te

            February 5, 2017
  2. Escarole is very common in the Netherlands, but I didn’t know that name for it and have been calling it endive on my blog (the Dutch word andijvie is like Italian indivia). I’ve noticed surprised reactions from my Italian flowers when I post recipes for pastinaca — which over the last ten years has become very common here again. I remember reading about parsnips in a UK context 25+ years ago and not knowing what they looked or tasted like. This tart reminds me of a similar one from Liguria, but there the greens aren’t parcooked and added raw, and the dough is flour and water with just a bit of olive oil. I don’t use shortcrust or puff pastry often because of the high fat content.

    February 2, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I try not to use puff pastry either – way too fatty. By the way, there is a word in Bolognese dialect, pistinaga, which means inept and we just realized where it comes from!

      February 3, 2017
      |Reply
  3. Ellie
    Ellie

    Hi !! Love this – both versions are delicious !! I had the same problem as you trying to work out what parsnips are in Italian – they are placed under the general heading ‘Radiche’ or ‘Radici’ – as you know, only turnips, different in shape, are called rape, along with their tops or ‘cime’ – and that’s just to underline the fact that I’m having ‘orecchiette with cime di rapa’ for lunch today !!

    February 2, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      All those veggies in the rape family are migthy confusing (love orecchiette alle cime di rapa and I make them often).

      February 3, 2017
      |Reply
  4. Parsnip is quite common here as is escarole, which I love. Your tart sounds delicious, I will definitely be trying it out.

    February 2, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Let me know if you do.

      February 3, 2017
      |Reply
      • Making it tomorrow for lunch.

        February 3, 2017
        |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      🙂

      February 3, 2017
      |Reply

Got some thoughts? We would love to hear what you think

%d bloggers like this: