Rustic Italian Veggie Pie

Sort of like a massive calzone, this pie overflows with savory veggies

I saw a picture of something like this in a vegetarian cookbook, and since my household is temporarily vegetarian while my veggie friend is visiting from Brasil, I decided to make my own version.  This is a pretty easy dinner, very hearty, sort of like a calzone.  You could really use a variety of ingredients depending on whatever is available seasonally.

CRUST:

1 cup fine semolina (substitute 1 c AP flour if you don’t have semolina)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup shredded parmigiano cheese
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
2 tsp kosher salt
20 grinds fresh black pepper

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Then cut in:

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small slices

Use a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour.  When there are no pieces of butter larger than a pea, add:

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (substitute 1 1/2 cups milk plus 2 Tbsp vinegar whisked together)

Stir until no more dry ingredients are visible.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for a few strokes until it comes together into a soft, smooth dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

FILLING

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes

Salt the eggplant with a few Tablespoons of Kosher salt and leave in a colander in the sink to drain for 30 minutes.  In a large pot over high heat, saute:

1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup olive oil

When the onion begins to take on some color around the edges, add:

2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

Saute for a few minutes.  Dump the eggplant cubes onto a double layer of paper towels, then place another double layer on top.  Press down firmly to remove more juices from the eggplant.  Then add the eggplant to the pot along with:

1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 cup purple olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano, parsley)
1 bunch parsley, chopped
2 tsp Kosher salt
40 grinds black pepper
1 glug Balsamic vinegar

Stir occasionally for a few minutes, then taste and correct seasonings.  The filling should be a bit dry, if it’s very wet, continue cooking on high temp, stirring constantly, until enough water has evaporated to thicken it.  Don’t overcook it or the whole thing will turn to mush.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to 1/2″ thick.  Carefully transfer the circle of dough to a large cookie sheet lined with foil, parchment, or a silpat.  (I fold the circle in half, then in half again, then transfer and gently unfold.)  Scoop the filling into the center of the dough, leaving a decent margin of bare dough around the edges.  You will probably have too much filling…save the rest to top pasta or to fill omelets.  Gently fold the dough up around the filling to form a lip.

Bake on the center rack of a preheated 425F oven for 30 minutes.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before trying to slice.

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