“Placinta cu varza ” – a rustic savory pie like a huge Gnocchi, it’s basically pizza dough stuffed with mashed potatoes or sauerkraut and crisped up to a golden perfection in a cast iron skillet.
Savory pie, because this time of year I feel a deep longing to go back in time in my rustic culinary approach.
I remember snow and icicles drooping off the gutters, cold, a chill going straight to the bone even through the thickest winter coat. And what made that completely irrelevant was waking up by a whiff of the first savory pie crisping up in a cast iron skillet in my grandma’s kitchen.
You see, to get to this kitchen you would have to walk through the yard, in the frozen snow…So one of us kids would leave the nice cozy down feather nest and make a run through that frozen pathway to fill our hands with these hot crispy pies.
Oh the nostalgia of it all hit me the moment my first pie touched that hot skillet.
Not because life was better then, or the pies tasted better; but because grandma made them, and grandpa was still with us telling us stories from war. And because it all seemed so magical before life removed all the innocence. Because when you are a kid you are Present in this moment, time doesn’t really exist. You get excited about a crispy sauerkraut stuffed pie on a frozen winter morning like a grown up gets excited about winning the lottery.
So I made a batch of my rustic pizza dough , stuffed it with the sauerkraut and crisped up those pies in my old cast iron skillet until golden brown. And then I ate them all before the day was over. And it was amazing!
A peasant savory pie, that took me straight back in time and made me feel nostalgic but beautiful feelings take over my being. And it was so worth it.
Alternatively you can stuff the pizza dough with some ricotta mashed potatoes, much like a gigantic flat gnocchi and then crisp it up. I usually make both, but I realized I was out of potatoes so I made them all with sauerkraut.
I hope you give these a try on a chilly winter day. I mean, who doesn’t love a crispy pizza pocket stuffed with deliciousness?!
Savory Pie Placinta Cu Varza Recipe
- 1 batch this rustic Italian pizza dough
- 2 lb sauerkraut drained well (or mashed potatoes)
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil + more as needed
- 1 bunch dill roughly chopped
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Make the pizza dough for Placinta.
- Heat up 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet. Saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt until it starts to get a little color. Stir in the caraway seeds and sauerkraut and cook together for a few minutes until the sauerkraut starts to get a little color as well.
- Adjust seasonings to your taste with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside to cool.
- Flatten each piece of the pizza dough to 1/2 inch thickness and spoon some of the sauerkraut or mashed potato in the center.
- Sprinkle with some of the dill and fold over the edges to cover the filling and create a seal. Flatten down gently using the palm of your hand or a rolling pin.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet on medium flame and add a drop of olive oil, just enough to coat the entire surface. Add the pies one at a time and crisp them up on each side until golden brown.
- Transfer to a plate and serve hot.