Summer Torta

Summer Torta
When most people hear the word “torta” they think of a summer fruit pie in a rustic crust or the famous Easter pie with loads of eggs and ricotta signally the arrival arrival of Spring. This summer torta is perfect picnic dish to pair with some grilled chicken. You can make this in the morning before your picnic or dinner and serve it a room temperature.

Makes enough for 12 people. This torta is great as a left over especially for breakfast.

Ingredients and Directions:

For the dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 very cold water

For the filling

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound cleaned spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 11 large eggs (1 egg reserved for an egg wash)
  • 2 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 8 ounces sliced provolone cheese
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, stemmed and torn in bite-size pieces
  • 12 ounces thinly sliced mortadella
  • About 8 ounces roasted red peppers, patted dry (1 jar drained or two peppers roasted, steamed in a bag and cleaned)

Special equipment:

  • 10 inch spring-form pan
  • Large nonstick saute pan

Make the dough: In a food processor, pulse flour, butter, and salt until butter is pea-size. Add 1/2 cup very cold water and pulse just until dough comes together, adding another tablespoon water if needed. Turn dough onto a work surface and press into a mound. Cut off one-fourth of dough, form both portions into flat disks, wrap airtight in wax paper, and chill at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Place larger piece of dough on a floured surface. Roll into a circle about 14 in. across. Butter bottom and sides of the 10-invh spring-form pan. Lay dough in pan, pressing on bottom and up sides, and allowing excess dough to hang over edge.

Roll out smaller piece of dough a little bigger than pan, then cut to size of pan. Transfer circle to a plate, discarding scraps. Chill shell and circle until ready to use.

Make the filling: Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half the spinach and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt Add remaining spinach and cook until all the leaves are wilted. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spoon spinach into a strainer and let drain completely, then transfer to a paper towel and squeeze out any excess liquid.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Crack 10 eggs into a bowl and stir with a fork just to break up. Melt butter in pan , then add eggs Gently scramble eggs, stirring occasionally, until mostly solidified but still very wet. They’ll cook more in the torta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the oregano, then transfer to a plate, spreading eggs evenly. Chill in refrigerator until cool.

Assemble the torta: Evenly spread half the eggs in bottom of dough-lined pan. Then evenly lay half the cheese over eggs, cutting cheese if needed to make an even layer. Distribute half the spinach over cheese and sprinkle with half the basil. Then cover with half the ham. Use a towel to blot peppers completely dry, then lay them over ham, cutting peppers if needed to make an even layer. The peppers are the middle layer. From this point onward, layer the remaining ingredients in reverse order: first ham, then basil, spinach, cheese, and finally eggs. Press down gently on torta with your hand to even out layers.

Lay reserved dough circle on top, With your fingers, press the edges of dough in the pan and the dough circle. Fold the dough into the spring-form pan so that when you release the torta from the pan, that the crust will not overhang and break. Using a knife, cut a small X in center of torta to let steam out when it bakes. Wrap torta in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours and as long as overnight

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack set on lowest level. Whisk remaining egg and brush some over top of torta. Bake until golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool on a rack for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Carefully release the torta from the pan, then loosen from the bottom of the pan and lift pan off torta. For easy transportation, bring the torta in the spring-pan to your picnic and serve directly out of the pan

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