Italian Picnic Potpie
Think of this as a loaded-with-filling submarine sandwich, but one that is assembled and baked as a potpie. That will give you some idea of what happens when the layers of ham, cheese, salami, spinach, and sweet peppers melt together in this Italian-inspired dish. Although fine served hot, this potpie is even better when served at room temperature, making it a good picnic choice. Buy a jar of good-quality roasted red peppers at the supermarket, or look for them at the deli counter.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, game day
Recipe Coursemain course
Taste and Texturegarlicky, meaty, savory
Type of Dishsavory/pot pie
- Two 10-ounce packages thawed frozen chopped spinach
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ pound thinly sliced baked ham
- ¾ pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
- ¼ pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
- 4 large pieces roasted red bell peppers (about 5 ounces)
- Extremely Flaky Sour Cream Crust
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream beaten with 1 large egg for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Rub 1 teaspoon olive oil in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish that is 2 inches deep.
Make the filling: Rest a strainer over a medium bowl, put the spinach in the strainer, and push firmly on the spinach with a large spoon to press out the liquid. Discard the liquid. In a medium skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until you smell the garlic cooking and the oil is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Using about half of the ham, cover the bottom of the baking dish with overlapping slices. Using about one-third of the cheese, cover the ham with a layer of cheese. Spread all of the spinach mixture over the cheese. Spread all of the salami over the spinach and then another layer of cheese over the salami. (You can see how this is going to be very good.) Cut the red pepper in strips about 1 inch wide and spread the strips over the cheese. Spread the remaining cheese over the peppers, then all the remaining ham in overlapping slices. Set the filling aside while you roll the crust.
Prepare the topping: Lightly flour the rolling surface and rolling pin. Roll the crust dough to a shape that is 1 inch larger than the top of the baking dish. Roll the crust around the rolling pin and unroll it over the top of the baking dish. Fold ½ inch of the edge of the crust under to form a smooth edge. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the edge into a scalloped pattern or fluted edge around the edge of the dish, while pressing it firmly onto the rim. Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the dough lightly with the egg wash. Cut four 2-inch-long slits in the top of the crust to release steam while the potpie bakes.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is browned and you can hear the filling bubbling gently, which signals that the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then use a large knife to cut wedges of crust and filling. Or, let the potpie cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes and serve.
2006 Elinor Klivans