The Italian families that settled in alpine Victoria brought with them some marvellous customs. This recipe was inspired by a visit to Patrizia and George Simone's restaurant Simone's of Bright. Patrizia picked what she described as wild spinach. I have never seen it before or since, although it has been known throughout Europe for hundreds of years. I used it to make a delicious pie, which I thought would be just as successful made with silverbeet.
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
For torte filling
150g young silverbeet leaves and stalks (or rainbow chard), washed and drained
1 tbsp salt
1 medium potato (150g), boiled whole, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
150g crumbled stretchy cheese (such as fontina, asiago, mozzarella or feta)
freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
To make dough
Put flour and salt in bowl of food processor. Whizz and drizzle in the oiland then the water. Continue to process the dough for about a minute until itforms a ball. Remove to a floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until it is supple and smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with a cloth and refrigerate for 2 hours to relax the gluten.
Preheat oven to 200C. Lightly oil a 28-cm pizza tray.
To make the filling
Finely shred and chop the leaves and stalks of the silverbeet or chard. Placein a colander and toss with the tablespoon of salt. Leave for 20 minutes, then quickly rinse and squeeze dry in a clean cloth.
Transfer silverbeet to a bowl with the chopped potato, diced onion, parsleyand cheese. Season with pepper. Whisk the egg with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and mix through filling. Taste for salt.
Roll two-thirds of the dough on a floured surface into a circle that will easily cover the base of the pizza tray.
Spoon on the filling, leaving a 2cm border of dough.
Stretch back the edge of the dough over the filling, pleating it as you go (see photo at right).
Dampen with water. Roll remaining dough a little smaller and drape it over the filling. Press to seal with the pleated edge. Pierce here and there with a fork, then drizzle the top of the torte with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Scatter with a few grains of sea salt.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Leave to settle for 10 minutes before cutting.