I knew I wanted swiss chard and ricotta together. I had some shallots, so in those went. Some salt, pepper and lemon juice to bring out the taste of everything. I found the chard to be a little bitter still, so I diced some red bell pepper and added that for sweetness. It worked! Flavor and color balance with one addition.
But even if you end up with a tasty but monochromatic empanada filling, it doesn’t matter because it all gets wrapped up anyway. (I’ve been working on my empanada sealing technique. It’s not quite there, but I have a few weeks left to master it before I leave Buenos Aires.)
Empanadas with Chard, Ricotta and Bell Pepper
Original recipe, makes 12 empanadas
- a few leaves of swiss chard (about a pound before removing stems)
- 2 shallots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste
- 12 rounds of empanada dough
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Chop off the tough stalks of the swiss chard (you can save and use these in a stir-fry or something, but the texture isn’t ideal for empanada filler), then chop up the leaves. Sautee chard, shallots and bell pepper with a little butter or olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
In a bowl, mix vegetables and ricotta. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
Put about two large spoonfuls of filling in the center of the empanada rounds, then seal and place on a baking sheet. I had a little bit of oil on the pan, but didn’t give the empanadas an egg wash glaze. If you want a nice shine, mix a little egg and milk and brush it on the dough before baking.
Bake 15-20 minutes. (I took mine out on the early end because I knew I’d be baking the leftovers again to heat them up. Plus I didn’t have the egg wash so they didn’t crisp up much. Maybe not as traditional, but I love things doughy.)