Posted by: Rabideye | October 8, 2009

Pizza with greens inside! (sfogliata con verdura)

sfogliata ("sfo-yatta")

sfogliata ("sfo-yatta")

a type of chicory; this was a tube that was cut open.

a type of chicory; this was a tube that was cut open.

Ah, so the tomatoes are pretty much done with, but the greens are alive and well.

Make a sfogliata.

Sfogliata (it’s  like a sandwich with greens inside!)

Time required: roughly 1.5 hr.

Feeds: 4, depending.

Please read through the whole recipe before starting…

There are 2 main steps: prepping the greens and prepping the crust, then mixing them together.


The Greens Inside

  • 2 cups well-blanched greens, roughly chopped 1″  (this can be kale, rapini, chicory, radicchio, spinach, even cooked arugula…) I like the chicory or rapini because of their sharper flavour. Check out the wide variety of chicories available here
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish or regular onion, finely chopped
  • a splash of white wine (optional)
  • 3 cloves of nice fresh garlic, minced
  • a small pinch of sugar (optional)
  • pinch of salt and pepper (see below, adjust saltiness to the ingredients that may already be salty)
  • Optional: you can throw in some pitted olives, canned artichokes (drained and squeezed out, then chopped), even anchovies (watch the salt, again… adjust).
  • handful of dried tomatoes, reconstituted in hot water for 5 mins, then drained.
  • handful of dried (hot if you like) peppers, reconstituted in hot water for 5 mins, then drained.


Place your saucepan on high heat, and pour in your olive oil. Once heated up, add the minced garlic and chopped onion and salt. A little pinch of sugar will help caramelize, but it’s optional. Once stuff has browned, add in the reconstituted/ drained tomatoes and peppers, stir. Cook up for 5 mins. A splash of white wine (in the pan) wouldn’t hurt.

The idea is that you don’t want to produce extra fluids as this will negatively impact the pizza crust.

Now, add your chopped and well-blanched greens (basically, they need to be 3/4 cooked), and simmer them for 20 mins.

Take saucepan off the heat and let cool.

Drain the liquids off as best you can (keep them for soup or whatnot).

Once the pan is off the heat…add

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley and 1 tbs of fresh basil. These will just wilt.
  • Have some nice grated meltable cheese (I like Asiago or Auricchio Aged Provolone, or if you are a cheese wimp, use some mozza). You choose how much cheese, but not too much. If your chosen cheese is really salty, plan to reduce the salt you add at the beginning.



  • 2 c. white unbleached flour
  • ½ c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. dry yeast
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • (if you like things spicy, you can roll 1 tsp dried crushed hot chili peppers and oregano with the flour too).

Soften yeast in warm water. Let stand 5-10 minutes at room temp. (or even slightly warmer)

You will have started off the greens mixture now. (see above for some ideas on the greens)

Back to the dough: In  a large bowl, mix in rest of dry ingredients (salt, flours), and make a crater in your flour, adding a few tablespoons of yeast/water mixture at a time, twirl the mixture with your hand until the liquid has all been absorbed. Then move the lump of dough onto a large cutting board and knead for at least 10 minutes. Dust the bowl with flour and drop the kneaded dough inside. Take a damp clean dishtowel and drape this on top, and let the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm spot in your home. During this hour, preheat your pizza stone at 350 degrees or if you don’t have one, preheat an overturned cookie sheet for 30 mins. Remember that during this time you will be cooking up the greens and letting them cool off.

After the 1 hour rising, Split the dough in half, and roll out into 2 thin pizzas. Poke some holes in these with your fork. Then lightly oil the top of the bottom crust with a brush. Since the bottom crust will tend to get soggy if you’re not careful, bake only the bottom half for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  I use coarse corn meal on my pizza pan bottom to reduce sticking or also a sheet of parchment paper is good.

WARNING: Depending on how soggy your greens mixture is, you may want to lay down a big sheet of aluminium foil (curled at the edges) underneath the baking stone/pan to catch any juices and stray cheese.

Remove from oven, add the cooled and drained greens mix and toppings (eg. cheese) onto this bottom half, add the top crust now and return to the oven to bake another 25 minutes.


Remove from oven, let cool off on a cooling rack for 5 minutes and serve up with a nice salad. Goes well with a cold Pinot Grigio.


  1. I’m Italian, born near Venice, and I’ve not heard of this before. But it sounds wonderful, I must give it a try.


    • let me know how it turns out; there are many variations of the ‘enveloped pizza’… I made it just yesterday.
      good to be able to do something other than the ‘steamed greens’ all the time.
      Are you in Powell River?

  2. Yes, I’m in Wildwood. My husband and I moved here from Britannia Beach almost two years ago. North Vancouver before that…
    Who knew we were moving into Little Italy. Love it..

  3. This recipe sounds very tasty. I look forward to giving it a try. I’m with you on the rapini because of the sharper flavour, too.

    Also, I really like the look of your site and all the stories and photos that you include. It is an interesting site to check out. Good job on putting it together.


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