Ligurian Torta Verde

There is nothing like the smell of home..!

The literal translation of “torta verde” is “green pie” and it does exactly what it says on the tin.. The recipes varies from family to family but I think its base pretty much everywhere around the area I come from is the trombetta courgette which is a quite sweet and long one that we’ve been trying to grow in England. And it’s done surprisingly well considering the weather shock factor. The version I know that seems to take different spins contains courgettes, white onion, rice, eggs, parmesan and basil however some people add beet chards, peas, spinach and other green vegetables. My version is obviously vegan so it has no eggs and parmesan but it is still surprisingly tasty and light.

Ingredients

For the dough:
250g plain flour
120ml water
60ml olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:
4 large trombetta courgettes
4 tbsp brown short grain rice
4 tbsp frozen peas
1 handful of basil leaves
2 tbsp golden flax seeds + 8 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp shiro miso

The reason why I use miso is because it really reminds me of the taste of parmesan and as we want something to hold the vegetables together (I didn’t want to use liquidised tofu) I thought I’d give a shot to flax seeds blended with water. For the one you see in the photo, I actually only used 1 tbsp seeds and 4 of water but I feel that it needed more.. Here is a photo of the courgettes finely chopped and of the filling before I added the blended seeds and miso.

Directions
1. start by boiling the rice for about 20 mins otherwise it will not get soft in the oven
2. wash and chop the courgettes finely, chop the onion and add both to a large bowl
3. also add the peas, washed and chopped basil
4. when the rice has softened up, rinse it under cold water to remove the excess heat and starch and add to the vegetables
5. make the dough by adding salt to the flour, mix and add water and oil
6. stir with a fork and then work with your hand
7. blend the seeds with water and 1 tbsp olive oil
8. add the miso and whisk well to dissolve
9. add the mixture to the vegetables
10. take a piece off the dough to make the top of the pie and stretch the remainder with a rolling pin on a pre-floured surface (this will prevent it from sticking to the counter and pin) and carefully place it in the pie dish
11. prick with the end of a fork
12. add the seed/miso/oil emulsion to the vegetables and mix well
13. lay the vegetables mix in the pie dish and flatten with a spoon
14. cut the excess dough from the side
15. stretch the top part of the pie again on a pre-floured surface and carefully transfer on top of the vegetables
16. join both perimetres of the dough together to seal off the pie
17. bake in a pre-heated oven between 30 and 40 mins at 180C or gas mark 4

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