14th/15th c Italian savory cheese tart recipe.
XCV. Herb tart. If you want to make a herb tart for twelve people, take six large cheeses and take a large quantity of herbs, that is beet, parsley, spinach and mint, two pounds of salted lard and eight eggs. Take these well cleaned and chopped herbs that have been squeezed of their juice (free of liquid, i.e. dry). Take the cheese and chop it with the coarsely chopped herbs, and take the lard that has been beaten as well as you can, and take the eggs that you have and mix all these things together. Put this mixture between two crusts in a tart pan, and make the crust on top of this tart yellow. This tart should be fat with lots of cheese and many herbs. If you want to make it for more or less people take these same items in the same ratio.
I decided to use this recipe to make a tart with just spinach rather than adding the other herbs.
I used frozen spinach that was drained and squeezed to remove the liquid. I added a large amount of grated cheeses to the spinach. I used a mix of parmesan, gouda, and colby. I used butter instead of lard and chopped it and added it to the spinach and cheese. I mixed this with eggs and put it all into a pastry crust made with flour, lard, salt and water. Another piece of dough was used to cover the tart and egg yolk was brushed onto the top crust. It was then baked until it was golden brown.
– Libro di cucina/ Libro per cuoco (14th/15th c.) (Anonimo Veneziano)
Translated 2003 to January 2005 CE by Helewyse de Birkestad, OL (MKA Louise Smithson) from the
transcription of Ludovico Frati (ed.): Libro di cucina del secolo XIV. Livorno 1899 prepared and made
available online by Thomas Gloning. Last updated March 28th 2005.