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Healthy Salad Greens Torta {gluten-free}

Delightfully unusual and surprising–who would expect salad greens baked in a cake pan? Here you have it–handfuls of mixed greens, with fresh egg, sharp cheddar cheese and cornmeal, baked until golden—healthy salad greens torta.

Healthy Salad Greens Torta

It’s kind of a pie or a tart without the crust. Let’s call it a torta, which is the Italian and Spanish word for cake.

After it cools, the salad greens torta is sturdy enough to pick up with your hands. Bake in a 9-inch round pan or square pan, then cut into bite-size pieces, and decorate with slices of cherry tomato–it becomes appetizers. Double bonus–it’s gluten free.

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ingredients for Healthy Salad Greens Torta

When you’ve mixed all the ingredients for healthy salad greens torta and you’re ready to put it in the pan, you will say to yourself, this will never work–too much lettuce–what on earth is holding it together? Have faith, go with it. Baked, the torta comes out of the oven looking just like the photos!

One time I fed this healthy torta to a picky-eating 13-year-old. He didn’t have a clue what was in it, but he loved it and asked for seconds. Do you suppose it was the pumpkin seed crunchiness and the zingy spicy heat? Or all the cheese?

unbaked mix for Healthy Salad Greens Torta

Serve warm or cold, a wedge (or two) along with a big spoonful of your favorite tomato sauce. I don’t think it’s redundant to serve the torta with a colorful veggie-full salad, because when baked, it looks and behaves like a torta, not salad!

Healthy Salad Greens Torta

Healthy Salad Greens Torta recipe details:

  • Blends of young, small salad greens, aka baby salad mixes, are readily available in supermarkets, sometimes in bulk, often in see-through clamshells. Earthbound Farms, Organic Girl, and Cut ‘N Clean Greens all package several assortments that are perfect in this torta. Try baby arugula too.
  • We’re addicted to fruity red Aleppo pepper flakes–sprinkled on sandwiches and avocado toast, and on top of this torta. Once you get your taste buds on Aleppo pepper, you’ll know why we can’t stay away. It adds big sparkle to pasta dishes, like this quick-to-make pasta with greens.

Healthy Salad Greens Torta

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Healthy Salad Greens Torta
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Cooling time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Once cooled, this torta makes a brilliant appetizer. Cut into wedges or small squares and top with half of a cherry tomato.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Keyword: salad greens, cheddar cheese, tart
Servings: 1 9-inch pan.
Author: Letty Flatt
Ingredients
  • 1 egg , lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk (dairy-free or dairy)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces salad greens mix , coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs , e.g. cilantro or basil
  • 5 ounces cheddar cheese , grated (1 ½ cups)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red chile flakes (see note)
  • Your favorite tomato sauce , as needed (see note)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan or an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment. (see note)

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. In another bowl, whisk the cornmeal, salt, baking powder and cayenne. Stir the cornmeal mixture into the egg and milk until blended. Stir in the greens, and fresh herbs, if using, as well as the grated cheese, mixing well to make sure all the lettuce is coated.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the chopped pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the tart puffs up and is lightly browned. Cool about 20 minutes. Invert the tart onto a plate and then invert again so the nut-garnished side is up. Cut into wedges. Serve with a simple tomato sauce.
Recipe Notes
  • When you've mixed all the ingredients and you're ready to put the torta in the pan, you will say to yourself, this will never work--too much lettuce--what on earth is holding it together? Have faith, go with it. Baked, the torta comes out of the oven looking just like the photos!
  • If you substitute hot red chile flakes for the milder Aleppo pepper, be careful not to use too much.
  • Use a store-bought tomato sauce, or make your own with sautéed onions, and seasoned diced tomatoes whirred in the blender.
  • For appetizer-size bites, bake in an 8-inch square pan.

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