Tegliata di Biete or Swiss Chard Torte with Raisins and Pine Nuts is a Venetian dish that shows the influence of exotic flavors from Near East and Venice’s role as an important trader. I love making this dish because of its complex flavor and versatility. Served at room temperature, it can be made ahead, and it is a perfect party food (vegetarian and crowd pleasing). Yesterday I made this torte for a Christmas party at Hein’s (Thanks, Hein!), where all kinds of yummy finger foods were to be had, in addition to Hein’s excellent and beautiful Bûche de Noël. The torte recipe is from Marcella Hazan‘s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (pp. 490-92). The recipe is not very complicated or hard, but Ms. Hazan, per usual, gives a very exacting multi-process recipe. Here is the condensed version of the recipe.
- 2 1/2 Lbs young Swiss chard
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup onion chopped fine
- 1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
- 1/3 raisins soaking in enough water to cover
- Black pepper
- 10″ springform baking pan
- 2/3 heaping cup unflavored bread crumbs, lightly toasted
- The swiss chard is sliced, cleaned and boiled in the salted water.
- After excess water is squeezed out, the chard is chopped finer and sauteed in olive oil and onion.
- Now, the cooked chard is combined with pine nuts, soaked raisins, grated parmigiano-reggiano and eggs.
- In a springform pan, spread bread crumbs and olive oil and add the chard mixture evenly across. Top it with more bread crumbs and olive oil, and bake it in the 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
If I am going to be pressed for time, I sometimes boil the chard and chop it up one day before I need the torte since cleaning the chard can be a time consuming process (to avoid having gritty torte).