This savory pie is a definite showstopper. It's a great way to use up an excess of veggies you may have on hand and turn them into something sophisticated and delicious! The olive oil crust is rich, buttery, and a perfect compliment to the cheesy filling.
Cheesy Kale and Squash Torta [Vegan]
For the Low-Fat Olive Oil Pastry Dough (make this first!):
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup ice-cold water
For the Filling:
- 12-ounces kale leaves (weigh after taking stems off), thinly sliced
- 12-ounces squash (I used a combination of zucchini and pattypan squash), sliced about 3/8-inch thick
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mint, or 1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh mint
- 12-ounce box extra-firm silken tofu
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, wheat starch or oat flour, OR egg replacer powder
- 1 tablespoon light miso
To Make the Dough:
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and mix with a fork or your fingers – there will be some small lumps, and that's fine. Drizzle in the cold water slowly, mixing with a fork. When it comes together, knead it gently into a ball and cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth.
- Refrigerate while you make the filling and heat up the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
To Make the Filling:
- Heat a large pot of water over high heat until it boils.
- Add the sliced kale and boil for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat and place the lid on the pot. Let stand while you place the zucchini rounds and sliced onion on a baking sheet, and sprinkle them with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and mint. Mix gently with your fingers and spread the mixture out again. Place the baking sheet under your oven's broiler on high, about 4 inches below the heat source. Broil and watching carefully until the vegetables begin to brown and are softened. Immediately remove them from the oven.
- Immediately drain the kale from the pot and run cold water over it in a colander. Squeeze as much water out of the kale as possible. Combine the kale and zucchini/onion mixture in a mixing bowl.
- In a blender, mix together the silken tofu, nondairy milk, nutritional yeast, starch or alternate, and miso until smooth. Pour this into the bowl with the vegetables and mix gently. If you like, add some vegan parmesan to taste.
For the Assembly:
- Spray or lightly brush a 14-inch pizza pan with oil and sprinkle lightly with flour.
- On a floured surface (I use a large sheet of baking parchment sprinkled with flour) flatten the ball of Dough a bit and, using the “roll from the center forward, quarter turn, repeat” method, and flouring lightly as necessary, roll the dough out into a 18-inch-diameter round (doesn't have to be perfect!). This dough will roll out thinly quite nicely but watch for tearing.
- To transfer to the pan, sprinkle the round lightly with flour, fold loosely in half and then in half again. Transfer the dough carefully to the prepared pizza pan and carefully unfold the dough, which will overlap the edge of the pan by a few inches. (OR roll it up around the rolling pin, loosely, and transfer it to the pan by starting at the top of the pan and unrolling the pastry over the pan.) Evenly spread the filling into a 12-inch circle in the center of the dough.
- If you like, sprinkle the filling with a handful of shredded vegan melting cheese.
- Carefully bring the overlapping dough up around the filling, to make a freeform pie. Pleat the edges of the dough over the filling, leaving an open circle in the center. Brush or spray the dough lightly with oil.
- Bake about 35 minutes, or until the torta is golden and starting to brown. Place the pan on a cooling rack. Cut the torta into six or eight wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.