Torta Milanese

I got my hair cut and tried to think about it. I did it for the video. Same way a bride learns to cook. Nobody has ever wanted to marry me for my coifing talents. What I can do with dinner on the other hand, only helped.

Made menus for work featuring vegetables. Italy in Spring is in full living color and can explode overnight–it’s the miracle switch your TV makes when Dorothy wakes up and it’s Oz; you forget just how great a color TV (and Spring) can be. Serious hunters wear serious boots and search for tiny green shoots of asparagus in the woods and the first dandelion leaves. If it rains, and a hard, strong sun follows, mushrooms are everywhere.

Menu 1 / a buffet:

Milanese Tart: layers of spinach, shitake, omelette, caramelized onion, parmigiano reggiano, and fontina encased in pastry

Side salads:

roasted baby leeks with thyme and pignoli

cannellini with fried garlic and basil

pan seared asparagus with arugula, garlicky croutons, parmesan curls

braised carrots with capers, picholine olives and walnuts

For dessert: Lemon Meringue Tart

To Make the Milanese crowned jewel, start with your favorite light as air pastry or buy Dufour. Roll out the pastry and get the bottom layer into a cheesecake pan, with about an inch overhang. Make a thin frittata with 2 eggs and plenty of butter. This is your first layer. Roast the shitake at 400 degrees with a toss of olive oil, salt and pepper until tender. Saute the spinach in garlic and olive oil with a few red pepper flakes, until wilted; cool and squeeze dry. Thinly slice a half pound of Fontina, and another handful of parmesan. Layer everything, repeat the layers, adding whatever you like, eggplant, and red peppers are excellent, just out of season at the moment–then repeat the layers. Fold in the overhang and brush with beaten egg. Lay your top layer of pastry over the top, and brush with beaten egg and a dash of cream. Cut a vent in the center, and slight indentations to mark the pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and gorgeously golden.

2 thoughts on “Torta Milanese

  1. Do you know I never, ever knew that Dorothy woke up to Technicolor until years after I first saw the film? I finally saw the movie on a color TV.

  2. If you get it up to make the torte, the eggs have GOT to be scrambled wet, and then chilled completely in the fridge before layering them into the rest of the concoction.

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