Sicilian Escarole Pie


For Dough:

1 cup warm water
1 - 1/4 oz. pkg. dry active yeast
1 1/2 t. unbleached cane sugar
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 t. salt
2 T. olive oil

For Filling:

1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup shallots, diced
2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
2 lbs. escarole, washed well, and roughly chopped
1 cup black olives, pitted
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 T. capers
2 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
olive oil, additional for oiling surfaces
soy milk (optional)

Begin by preparing the dough. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir, and set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy. In a large bowl, place the flour and salt, and stir well to combine. Add the yeast mixture and oil to the flour mixture, and stir well to form a dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, turn the dough to coat with the oil, and flip it over once to oil the top. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, place in a warm place, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2-2 hours.

While the dough is left to rise, prepare the filling. In a dry non-stick skillet, place the pine nuts and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer the toasted pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside. In the same non-stick skillet, saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes to soften. Add the escarole and saute for 5-6 minutes or until wilted. Roughly chop the black olives. Add the chopped olives, reserved pine nuts, and the remaining ingredients, except the nutritional yeast, and stir well to combine. Continue to cook the mixture an additional 5 minutes or until the escarole is tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the nutritional yeast, and set aside to cool.

Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9-inch springform pan and set aside. When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down, turn it out on to a work surface, and knead it lightly. Remove 1/3 of the dough and set aside. Roll out the 2/3 portion of dough to form a 14-inch circle. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared springform pan, and ease it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Spread the cooled filling evenly over the dough. Roll out the remaining 1/3 of dough to form a 10-inch circle. Carefully place the circle over the filling.

Moisten the edges of the top piece of dough with a little water and pinch the edges of the two layers of dough together to seal in the filling. Roll the edges of dough downward to form a decorative border all around the outer edge of the pie. Using a fork or sharp knife, decoratively make slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Using your fingers, lightly brush the top with a little additional olive oil or soy milk. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then remove the ring from the springform pan. Transfer to a large plate or platter and cut the pie into 8 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: One 9 x 13-inch pie or 8 wedges


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