Turnover a New Leaf? Make it Swiss!

Couldn’t resist… the leaf is Swiss Chard and it’s going to creep into the turnovers I am making.

Savory pastries are quite popular in many European, South American and Mediterranean countries.  In my Post about Pies I mentioned a few of them:

Pierogi (Polish), Kulebyaka (Russian), Steak and kidney pie (British), Zwiebelkuchen (German), Tourtière (French Canadian), Banitza (Bulgarian), Kreatopita (Greek), Fatayir (Lebanese). Click on titles for recipes!

My favorite Lebanese turnovers or pies are: Lamb-Pine nut, Spinach-Onion, Swiss Chard, Chickpea-Onion, and of course Zaatar (Thyme) Pies.

I like mixing greens when I make turnovers, so I tossed two handfuls of Spinach, and a handful of chopped fresh Fenugreek into my mixture.

Note: I only trim 1 inch off the bottom of the stems of any green I cook. I believe there are nutrients in the stems that may not be present in the leaves!  I also don’t believe in waste. This will alter the amount of greens you wind up with, so I wanted to share that with you.

Make 1 recipe Basic Dough and let it rise for 90 minutes, or until about doubled.

Rising dough

In the meantime prepare Filling:

  • 1 bunch organic Swiss Chard, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 c. organic Spinach, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 c. fresh Fenugreek, chopped (opt.) .. do not use dry herb
  • 2 medium organic Onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbs. organic Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. Sumac (found at Mediterranean markets)
  • 1 c. organic Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Stack 3 leaves of Chard and slice lengthwise into 3 – 4 pieces depending on width.

Slice Chard lengthwise, then chop

Chop and repeat with rest of leaves.

Chop Chard

Place in a large bowl.

Add Spinach and Fenugreek (if using).

Diced onions

Chop onions and add to greens.

Sprinkle Salt over mixture and using your hands mash all together squeezing the greens and onions until slightly wilted.

Swiss Chard Mixture

Add lemon juice, sumac, walnuts and olive oil, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Tilt bowl so liquid will drain on one end, propping with a cloth underneath.

Tip bowl to drain juices away from filling

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

When dough is ready, roll into balls the size of walnuts, dipping the bottoms in flour and putting aside.

Dough balls waiting for their turn

Sprinkle flour on your board or counter top, and roll each ball into a thin round  using a little flour if sticky.

Dough should be thin

Place 2 Tbs. of filling in center of round. Make sure liquid is squeezed out.

Swiss Chard Pie 1

Have a small bowl of water nearby.  Dip your finger into water and rub around perimeter of dough round to wet.

Fold 1/3 dough over filling, sealing top tip securely by pressing.

Swiss Chard Pie 2

Fold other 1/3 overlapping the first and press to seal all along overlapped edge.

Swiss Chard Pie 3

Bring bottom 1/3 up and press along seams and tips to seal well.

Neatly folded Chard pie

Place on baking sheet, repeating until all dough it used up. 

P.S. If you are left with any dough balls, allow to rise for 10 more minutes, and pop in the oven to make into Pita bread!

Bake turnovers for 15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.

Swiss Chard Pies

Cool to room temperature.  Enjoy warm or cold.

~ Sahtein (double health!)

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