This Italian silverbeet pie, Erbazzone, with a silverbeet and cheese filling, can be eaten hot or cold, and is ideal for lunchboxes or picnics.
On with my list of silverbeet recipes after Spanish silverbeet with chickpeas and Japanese inspired side, silverbeet with miso and sesame dressing, this one is inspired by the Italian rustic pie, Erbazonne.
What is Erbazonne?
From the Italian province of Reggio-Emilia, greens – in this case silverbeet – are sautéed with onion before being enriched with parmesan cheese and then encased in a crust made with flour, water and olive oil to make a delicious savoury pie which can be eaten warm or cold.
Traditionally bacon is used too, but I have left this out to make a vegetarian pie; I have also used a vegetarian parmesan, and added more budget friendly grated cheddar cheese in place of some of the parmesan.
If you don’t have silverbeet, you can still make this savoury pie, just substitute it for English spinach (not baby spinach).
For this recipe, I cut the stalks from the leaves, slice them and then blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes.
I then add them to the pan with the cooked onion, together with the leaves, which take just minutes to cook. As you can see from the photos below, the leaves really wilt down! So what first seems like a lot of silverbeet/chard turns out not to be!
Assembling the Silverbeet Pie
One this feeling has cooled, you assemble the pie:
- Top one circle of rolled out dough with the cooled silverbeet onion mixture, leaving a gap around the edges.
- Top with the grated cheeses.
- Lay over the second rolled out circle of dough, crimp the edges to seal, cut some slits in the top to let out steam, then brush with olive oil and it’s ready to bake.
How to serve this pie:
Serve for lunch with a simple salad, some sliced tomatoes, or just some tomato sauce. Or cut into wedges and take on a picnic!
Tips for baking the best Erbazzone:
You can make the dough up to a day ahead and keep in the fridge.
(Many recipes in fact call for the dough to be made a day ahead, but I haven’t found any difference, in fact it was harder to work with.)
Make sure you squeeze out as much water as you can once the silverbeet is cooked (you can do this once cool). Otherwise the liquid will soak into the dough and make it stodgy.
Storing the pie:
Fridge: The pie will keep in the fridge, covered for up to 2-3 days.
Freezer: You can freeze the pie once cooked. Cool completely then wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months.
More savoury lunchbox/picnic recipes:
- Samosa Pinwheels – a spiced vegetable filling is wrapped in puff pastry for this popular snack.
- Leek and Ricotta Rolls – these vegetarian sausage rolls are gobbled up in minutes!
- Cauliflower Cheese Scones – these cheese scones are made with cooked cauliflower, perfect for using up leftover cauliflower AND adding some veggies into your picnic/lunchbox.
- Spinach Pesto Pinwheels – these puff pastry pinwheels are made with a nut free pesto, and have been a popular toddler and baby led weaning snack in our house for years!
Erbazzone (Italian silverbeet Pie)
- 400 g (3⅔ c) plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 60 ml (¼ c) olive oil
- 180 ml (¾ c) cold water
- 350g (12 oz) silverbeet/chard
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- salt and pepper
- 60g (½ c) cheddar cheese grated
- 50g (⅓ c) parmesan grated
Make the Dough:
- In a roomy mixing bowl mix the flour and salt together.
- Add the olive oil and water and bring together to form the dough.
- Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Wrap the dough in cling film/wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
Make the Filling:
- Separate the silverbeet leaves form the stems.
- Cut the stems into 3-4 cm (0.8 – 1.2 ") lengths.
- Cut the leaves into thirds/quarters.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the stems for 2 minutes then drain.
- Cook the onion in the olive oil until soft – around 5 minutes, then add the crushed garlic and cook for a minute before adding the leaves and blanched stems.
- Saute for 5 minutes, until everything is soft and tender.
- Season with salt and pepper, then remove to a plate and leave to cool completely.
When ready to bake the pie:
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C fan/ 220˚C / 392˚F Convection/ 428˚F
- Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Cut the dough in half, and shape each half into a ball.
- Rollout one ball with a rolling pin into a circle 20-25 cm (7.8 – 9.8”) in diameter. (If the dough has been in the fridge overnight this can take a bit of work).
- Squeeze any liquid out of the silverbeet, mix in the fresh oregano and spoon into the missle of the dough circle, leaving 2 cm around the edges.
- Top with the grated cheddar and parmesan cheese.
- Roll out the other ball of dough to a circle 20-25 cm (7.8 – 9.8”) in diameter.
- Brush a little water around the edges of the pastry around the filling, then top with the second piece of dough.
- Press the edges to seal and crimp – wither with fingers or with a fork to seal.
- With a sharp knife, cut 2-3 slits in the top to let out steam.
- Brush with a little olive oil then place into the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes until golden.