Simple in '96!

Until that first issue comes tumbling into your mailbox, here's a recipe for Torta Rustica to tide you over. Good luck.

Bread Crust:

1 package dry active yeast

1-1/2 cups warm water

2 tsp. each: olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper

1 cup whole wheat or semolina flour


1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped and lightly steamed

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups broccoli, cut into small florets and lightly steamed

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

One 9-oz. package frozen arti-
choke hearts, thawed, drained

1/2 cup nonfat ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water; cover and let stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Add oil, salt, pepper, and whole wheat flour, and mix well. Stir in white flour a half-cup at a time until a stiff dough is formed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 6 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in lightly pan-sprayed mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.

In a medium bowl, combine chard with half the minced garlic. In another bowl, combine broccoli, tomatoes, and remaining garlic. In a third bowl, combine artichoke hearts, ricotta, and parmesan. Season each combination to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375° and lightly pan-spray a 2-quart casserole or soufflé dish. Roll out two thirds of the dough into a 16-inch circle. Fit dough into casserole, covering bottom, sides, and extending one inch over the edge. Layer chard mixture, broccoli mixture, and artichoke mixture into casserole.

Roll remaining dough into a circle two inches larger than the top of the casserole. Fold edges of top dough over bottom dough and pinch with fingers to seal. Cut air vents into the top, brush with cold water, and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes six servings.

BRAS AND BREAD CRUMBS: Or, Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Copywriter. It is my duty, sort of, to announce the publication of Food as Foreplay: Recipes for Romance, Love and Lust by a pair known as the "Cooking Couple." I can't speak for the recipes, but the premise made me think single is the only way to be. Why would people be driven to smearing homemade brownies over their torsos unless they were desperately unhappy? But enough about me. This recipe/spicing up your relationship book comes to you via Alexandria Press, $14.95; it includes recipes for treats such as smoked salmon penne and boiled lobster, in addition to tips on bathing yourself, making your bed, and visiting Crate and Barrel (who could make this up?) for those items that will allow you to create the perfect bedroom/dining experience. Love stinks.

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