From Farm to Fork: Foraging Class in Italy (and a recipe!)

During a hands-on cooking class at La Tavola Marche in Le Marche, Italy, guests forage for wild greens in the field in front of our 300 year old farmhouse (agriturismo). My husband Jason, a chef,  helps students identify the different edibles found in the field in front of house.  With bags full of dandelion greens, poppy greens, grispigno, & more they head into the kitchen to create a rustic tart with the fresh picked wild greens, ricotta, & prosciutto. 




Rustic Tart of Wild Greens
Torta di Erbe Selvatiche

Pastry Dough:
2 3/4 Cups (250 gr) all purpose flour
3/4 Cup (150 gr.) butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
2-3 Tablespoons ice water
pinch of salt

Sift flour into a mound, add the butter & pinch of salt. Rub together with your fingers or food processor. When mixture resembles crumbly coarse sand incorporate the egg & water. Knead 2-3 times.
Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

2 Cups (400 gr) of cooked, drained and squeezed dry greens (mix of wild greens or chard, spinach, escarole, etc.)
1 Cup (250 gr.) sheep’s milk ricotta cheese
zest of half a lemon
generous handful of Parmesan
2-3 slices of prosciutto, chopped
salt & pepper
1 egg, separated

Cook your greens in boiling, salted water depending on the toughness (spinach may only need 20-30 seconds, chard needs 3-4 minutes).  Drain and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the greens. Combine the greens in a bowl with the ricotta, parmesan, lemon, prosciutto, salt & pepper. Taste & check your seasonings.

To Assemble the Tart:
Preheat oven to 350 F/ 185 C

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and split in half. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch or 1/2 cm thickness and line the bottom of a tart or pie pan. (We use 9-inch or 25 cm but you can make individual tarts as well.) Make sure to have enough dough to fold the edges back over the the top.

Once pastry is lined in pan, brush with egg white then fill with a generous amount of the chard mixture (filling in evenly).

Brush folded over part on the top with egg yolk as well.

Place in oven, bake 45 minutes - 1 hour until pastry is golden brown & filling is bubbly. Serve warm or room temperature.


Rustic greens tart from Italy


Video: with Jason Bartner, Filmed by Ashley Bartner Spring 2013
Music "Songe D' Automme" by Latchè Swing and "Vidalia" by Andrew Bird

For more information on our hands-on, seasonal cooking classes in Italy visit:

Cooking Classes recently featured in:
The Best Places for Everything, NY Times Best Seller Travel Book
USA Today: 10 Authentic Ways to Travel like a Local
Budget Travel Magazine: 8 Cooking Schools Worth Their Salt
Food & Wine Magazine: Italian Cooking Schools
London's Telegraph Magazine & The Guardian



Ashley Bartner is the Living in Italy Editor for Wandering Educators. You can find her recipes and photos at:


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