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Pizza Ebraica di Erbe

Double-crusted vegetable pie recipe.

eprinted with permission from Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen (Chronicle Books).

Called a Jewish-style pizza, this dish probably has its origins in the Italian south. Here the word pizza is related to the Greek pitta, a name for filo pies and a term still in use in Apulia, where many dishes reflect a Greek heritage. This recipe calls for pasta frolla salata, a short pastry that gives it a wonderful richness.

Ingredients

1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about 1/3 cup)

1 large onion, diced

3-5 medium artichokes

olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Olive oil or lightly beaten egg for coating pastry

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste

1 lb beet greens or spinach, coarsely chopped

2 lbs English peas, shelled (about 2 cups shelled)

1 egg, lightly beaten

2-4 Tablespoons water, or as needed

1/2 teaspoon salt

8-10 Tablespoon chilled unsalted butter or margarine

2 1/2 cups all‑purpose flour

Directions

To make the pastry, stir together the flour and salt in a bowl or in the container of a food processor. Cut in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in the egg and as much water as needed for the dough to come together into a rough ball. Divide the dough in into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other, and flatten each portion into a disk. Place the disks in a plastic bag and refrigerate for one hour.

To make the filling, have ready a large bowl filled with water to which you have added the lemon juice. Working with one artichoke at a time, remove the stems and all the leaves until you reach the pale green heart. Pare away the dark green areas from the base. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the choke from each half. Then cut each half lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and drop into the lemon water to prevent discoloration.

Pour enough olive oil into a large sautee pan to form a film on the bottom and place over medium heat. Add the onion and parsley and sautee three to four minutes. Drain the artichokes and add to the pan along with the greens and peas. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook slowly until the mixture is almost dry, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, and season with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix in the eggs.

Preheat an oven to 375F.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger pastry disk into an l1-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Carefully transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Spoon in the filling. Roll out the remaining pastry disk in the same way into a 10-inch round. Carefully place over the filling. Trim any excessive overhang, then turn under the pastry edges and pinch together. Cut a few steam vents in the top crust, then brush with olive oil or beaten egg.

Bake until the crust is golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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