Fall harvest crostata
Inspired by a recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks on seasonal cooking, Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, this savory crostata features a tasty filling of white beans, cheese, herbs, and fall vegetables. It's a bit more involved compared to our typical style, but we loved it as a Sunday cooking project after heading to the farmers' market. Best of all, you can nibble your way through it throughout the week, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. When shaping the dough, remember that crostatas are free-form by definition, and the best ones have a certain charm from their imperfect appearance :)
Which beans to use? Cannellini or another mild, nutty bean. Take 'em from dried to cooked with our guide!
- Time: 1 hour 45 minutes (plus bean cooking)
- Cookware: food processor, large skillet, large bowl, large baking sheet
What you’ll need
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1-⅔ cups flour, plus more for dusting
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and cut into thin ribbons (stems kept separate from leaves)
- 1-½ cups cooked beans, strained
- Olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed, and roughly chopped
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only (roots trimmed), cleaned well and cut into thin half moons
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 cup fresh herbs (mix of parsley, thyme, and rosemary leaves)
- Grated zest from 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and very thinly sliced
Prepare the dough: Put walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they are very fine. Add flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend. Add butter and pulse again until resembles coarse meal. With the processor running, drizzle in water and process until the dough comes together. Put onto a lightly floured counter and gather dough into a ball. Add a few more drops of water if it doesn't feel moist. Shape into a flat disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for ~30 minutes.
Make the filling: Heat a large glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, but not burned. Add chard stems and leeks and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add chard leaves and continue cooking until tender, 8-10 minutes. Fold in beans. Remove from heat and seat aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, herbs, lemon zest, and eggs. Once cool, add Swiss chard and bean mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Assemble the crostata: Heat oven to 375 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly dust your work surface and roll out dough until ~15 inches in diameter. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet. Arrange a layer of sweet potatoes on dough within ~3 inches of the edge, overlapping as necessary to use all the slices. Pile the filling over sweet potatoes and gently spread it in an even layer. Fold the border of dough up and over the filling, pleating loosely as you work your way around.
Bake and enjoy: Bake until dough is nicely browned, 25-30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325 F and bake until crust is cooked all the way through, 15-20 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
Slightly adapted from Joshua McFadden's "Swiss Chard, Leek, Herb, and Ricotta Crostada" in his Six Seasons cookbook.