Swiss Chard and Parmesan Torte with Press-In Olive Oil Pastry

This is one of my "Go-To Tried and True" recipes ~ it might become one of yours as well.  It's easy to make, budget friendly, healthful and very tasty!

Here's the story ~

A dear friend of mine shared this one several years ago and it's been a favorite ever since. When she told me she discovered it in Patricia Well's cookbook "Trattoria" I was surprised, as I had bought that book when it was first published (1993 by William Morrow & Co.) and had made several of the the wonderful recipes, but somehow missed THIS one! So thank you my friend . . . Ciao, and you know who you are! :)

It is an easy recipe to put together, and I especially like that there is NO need to roll out the pastry ~ it is a press-in olive oil pastry ~ it bakes up almost cracker-like, sturdy and crispy so you can cut the slices thinly and pick the slices up with your fingers as an appetizer with a glass of your favorite beverage if you like.

Patricia explains that tortes similar to this one are a popular Mediterranean snack and can be found at pastry and snack shops in many parts of Italy, and some versions contain pine nuts and raisins.  I haven't tried either of those additions, but maybe next time. 

(Swiss Chard, I love it! But it you don't, you can use fresh spinach instead.)

Another wonderful thing about this recipe; it can be prepared ahead of time and is traditionally cut into thin slices and served at room temperature ~ (again,  just the perfect nibble with a glass of white wine as an appetizer.)  But I usually serve it warm from the oven for lunch or a light dinner with some sliced tomatoes with a vinaigrette drizzle ~ or some other kind of simple salad.  It certainly does have enough flavor so it tastes great at room temperature (and my friend and I agree, a slice is even tasty right from the fridge the next day.)

Patricia Wells ~ I love her cookbooks!

The steps for assembly:

Pastry ~ 

1 cup all purpose flour, a pinch of sea salt, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.  That's it!

Put the flour and salt in a bowl and mix in the water.

The mixture will look raggedy ~

Stir in the olive oil ~

The dough will begin to clump together, you can use your hands to help it along, but no need to over mix ~ it's perfectly fine if you can see streaks of olive oil.

Press the dough into a shallow 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom.  I don't have a 10-inch pan so I use an 8-inch instead, (this one is a deep dish, but that doesn't matter.)   And don't worry, the dough does not have to reach all the way up the sides, whichever size pan you use.
Set aside.

For the filling:

1 pound Swiss chard, tough stems removed. (I didn't quite have a pound this time ~ not a problem)*, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, 3 large eggs (they don't have to be from your own hens ~ as these are. :D) 1 cup grated Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ~ do use the real stuff here, and grate your own.  It makes all the difference in the world.

* To prepare the chard, wash and shake off extra moisture, remove tough stems and discard. Tear or cut the chard leaves into pieces and cut into smaller pieces using a food processor fitted with the metal blade; best done in several batches.  Alternately you can just cut the chard leaves with a knife.  I've cut them into medium size pieces, and sometimes smaller pieces, it really doesn't matter.  Just try not to chop them too finely.

Place the chard in a wide frying pan, season with salt and pepper, then wilt over low heat, tossing a couple of times until most of the liquid is evaporated. This only takes about 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Crack the eggs into a medium size bowl (I just use the same bowl that  I mixed the dough in.)

Whisk until combined.

Add the wilted Swiss Chard and grated Parmigiano to the eggs

And stir to combine thoroughly.

Spoon the chard mixture into the pastry, then bake in a preheated 375˚F oven for about 30 to 45 minutes (the filling should be lightly be lightly browned and firm.)  Remove to a baking rack to cool to room temperature, or serve warm right out of the oven.  If you serve it at room temperature ~ cut it into thin slices (it's firm enough to eat with your fingers.)  When I serve it for lunch or dinner I cut it into larger slices as shown here.

If you try this one (and I hope you will),  I hope you enjoy!

For a printable copy of the recipe head over to my recipe blog by clicking HERE.


Wonderful book and highly rated by those who own it; just a few good pictures, but it is LOADED with wonderful recipes and great introductions and tips from Patricia for each one. You get a lot of great recipes, and tips for your money with this one, not a bunch of "fluff".

Years ago I used to only buy the shiny tinned tart pans from Williams-Sonoma, because they looked so authentic & *French*.  Although they look lovely on display on the French Baker's rack, I quickly tired of the extra care (to prevent rust, staining, etc.) I switched over to non-stick a long time ago, and haven't looked back.
Save yourself the headache ~ get the non-stick!

Come see Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum!

Thanks for stopping by today friends.

Cheers!  ~m.


  1. This is my perfect meal. Eggs and greens. YUM! I loved all the rainbow chard at the farmers market this week. So gorgeous.

  2. I love the idea that there is no need to roll out the pastry either.It is easy to see why this has become a favourite Mari!!

  3. These photos are making my mouth water just thinking about how it must taste. Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is a household staple around here & I can easily imagine the flavor punch that it adds. I'll try this one with spinach soon.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  4. Mari, I aways get excited when I see that you have a new post because I know it will be fantastic! You never disappoint! This looks wonderful and I love the press in crust as I'm so lazy sometimes about rolling out dough :).

  5. Mary, you have done it again. I always want to try the recipes that you share.

    It is only 5:00 AM here and I'm wishing I could have your tart for breakfast.


  6. Another wonderful Patricia Wells recipe - yummo! Fabulous photo tutorial (you do them best!). I love the idea of a press in olive oil crust - might have to give this one a try soon.


  7. Sounds and looks delicious, Sis. If we can crank the boat's oven up to 375F, we'll have to try it. Leaving for Baja on Friday.

  8. I love your step by step..every photo a delight:)

    I prefer my non stick pans too:)

    Thank you for all the time you take creating your beautiful informative posts.x

  9. This looks amazing Mary!
    I also like the non stick tart pans. I really like the deep one you have there....that is the one I am missing. I have just about every other
    I am absolutely going to make this!
    Thanks again for sharing and the beautiful pics...I always love looking at them, they inspire me!

  10. You had me at "cracker-like & crispy perfect with a glass of white wine" :) I love the idea of using swiss chard! I have to try this~ I love your step-by-step photos & your plating as always is mouth watering!!

  11. Mari, This looks amazing and I love the idea of an olive oil crust. I have never been one to use Swiss Chard but I definitley need to try this recipe. Actually, I don't have that book either but it sounds like I NEED it. {{{Rolling eyes here}}} I do enjoy the Patricia Wells books that I have and Italian, wellllllll it is a MUST "have". Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks to be a winner.


  12. Beautiful pictures! Can't wait to try this one soon :)

  13. What a lovely creation. I love any torte, they just look so fancy to me. Your olive oil crust looks perfect and sounds delicious...can't wait to give that a try.

  14. Mari, I haven't visited in awhile. So glad i stopped in to see more of your lovely recipes. I sometimes have Internet problems. Enjoy the week-end. Linda

  15. I make a similar tort but not with an olive oil crust. That sounds really interesting - I'm trying it the next time I make a savory tart. Thanks!!

  16. I've started harvesting my fall chard planting. Definitely have to try this. Thanks!

  17. Found you through StoneGable. Can't wait to try this recipe. I'm now a follower.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


 Subscribe in a reader...or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner