By: Rosanna Pusateri-Ciccolinii
We are all home, some looking for things to do, others overwhelmed with work to do. Take time to stay connected with those who make you feel good, get fresh air, give your family undivided time and try new things.
This recipe was shared with me by my mother-in-law and I absolutely love making it. Today’s lesson is La Treccia, pronounced tre-ch-a in Italian which translates to 'braid'. I promise this only takes a couple of tries to perfect and it is such a beautiful and tasty final product. I love to fill it with greens but anything goes.
Ingredients you will need:
1 ball pizza dough (at room temperature)
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 bunch rapini
1 ball fresh mozzarella
2 handfuls grated mozzarella
1 handful grated parmigiano reggiano
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
All purpose white flour
Step 1: Swiss Chard & Rapini
Select your favourite greens for the filling. I like Swiss chard and rapini. You could also use sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers or grilled zucchini.
Wash the greens with cold water then trim with a pairing knife. Hold the vegetable in one hand and position the knife at the bottom of the green. Cut in and pull up. This technique removes the outer layer as well some of the 'stringy' compounds of the vegetables. It results in tender, tastier greens, I promise.
Cook the vegetables in well-seasoned salt water, approx 3-5 min or until tender. Drain and let sit in a colander to cool. You don’t want the greens too wet. Let them drain well and gently press out excess water between paper towels. You can do this step earlier in the day if you have the time, let sit in the colander to drain until you are ready to use them.
Chop the greens coarsely and put into a medium size bowl.
Add your favourite cheeses (about 2 cups). I like combining cheeses fresh mozzarella pulled, shredded mozzarella and grated parmigiano. A light sprinkling of salt and some fresh cracked pepper.
Mix the ingredients by hand until well tossed.
Step 2: Prepare the dough
Let the pizza dough sit out at room temperature for at least 3 hours.
Drizzle olive oil on a large sheet pan. Using your hands, spread the olive oil to all four corners and sprinkle white flour overtop. Doing these two steps helps the dough stretch and stay at the outer edges of the pan. These steps are especially important when cooking pizzas; to ensure the dough doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan when cooking.
Step 3: Fill the ingredients
Position the greens in the middle of the dough from leaving a ½ " clearance at the top and bottom. Using kitchen scissors make cuts in the dough approximately 1" apart with the exception of the first and last cut which can be 1.5".
From the top of the dough begin the 'braid' by folding the sides inward one at a time on a slight angle. Once you get to the bottom, fold the dough upward then tuck behind the braid to make a closure.
Lightly brush olive oil over the braid and put in the oven at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Tip: If you find that the treccia has a wet or mushy bottom it means that the greens are too wet for the dough. Either let them sit longer to dry out or press out more water.
Cut the treccia once cooled on an angle and enjoy!
Treccia are beautiful additions to your charcuterie boards alongside your cheeses, meats and fresh dips like hummus, artichoke or red pepper.
Make one at home and tag us @pusaterisfoods #treccia