As I’m writing this post, I’m sitting on my balcony enjoying the warm weather and long-lasting daylight with fresh strawberries and a glass of my favorite rosé. I can’t help but think back to a year ago, when Jon and I were getting everything ready for our wedding day. At this time last year, my dress was already hanging in my closet, Jon’s suit was ready, the invitations were sent out, table settings were being planned, honeymoon was booked, decoration was set and and so was everything else for our big day — except for our apartment. Up until one week before our wedding, we still had no idea where we were going to live, but we kept on searching and searching until we visited this beautiful place that we now call home. Fast-forward one year later and I’m sitting in my garden, smiling back at how stressed I was a year ago. If only I knew that the best was yet to come.
Today I want to share with you a very special recipe, one of the very firsts I ever cooked for Jon when we got married. This heart of palm and black olive pie is another version of my artichoke, tomato, feta and olive pie that I shared with you during the very beginnings of Savormania. The truth be told, the photos I shared of the pie don’t do it justice — I can’t help but wince when I look at my awful photography skills at the time, and although I still have a long way to go, I’m happy to see how much I’ve learned and progressed in these past 7 months. I guarantee that both versions of this pie are just as unbelievable, comprising mediterranean flavors that will make you wish you could have a slice of this pie whenever your heart desires.
I cannot credit this recipe to myself, as I got it from my precious Panamanian cookbook El Secreto Del Buen Sabor, which I received from my good girlfriends in Panama on my wedding day. Full of several go-to recipes and favorites from a variety of women in the Panamanian Jewish community, every single recipe I’ve ever cooked from El Secreto Del Buen Sabor — seriously, with no exception — was amazing and worthy of being within the pages of Savormania. This heart of palm and black olive pie was one of the firsts I tried, and I’ve been making it ever since as a side dish to a meat dish or to serve on its own with a salad.
The pie is made with a homemade dough that doesn’t need to be refrigerated prior to baking. How great is that? You can simply whip it up right before assembling the pie or prepare it in advance and store it for 24 hours wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. The filling is made by slowly simmering canned hearts of palm in crushed tomatoes and garlic until tender. The olives are only added at the end of the process so that they retain all their texture. The hearts of palm mixture is then enclosed within the soft and crispy dough, and cooked for one hour until golden. It’s the perfect recipe for those nights when you’re staring at your empty fridge wondering what to cook. All you’ll need is to stock your pantry with a couple of staple ingredients, and if you don’t have hearts of palm, just switch them out of artichoke hearts. Just looking at the photos and writing about this pie makes me wish I could have a slice of it right now — even though I’m eating strawberries as I type and just finished eating this ratatouille for dinner. That’s just how good this pie is.
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (115g) butter or margarine, softened
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 400g canned tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 600g canned hearts of palm, sliced
- 85g pitted black olives, sliced in half
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- To make the dough, combine water, vegetable oil, salt and butter in a big bowl. Slowly add the flour, mixing with your hands, until the dough reaches a perfect and soft consistency. Separate the dough into two balls and set aside or wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to use (maximum 24 hours).
- To prepare the filling, heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t burn. Add the canned tomatoes, flour and salt. Reduce heat to low and let the mixture simmer uncovered for 5 minutes until it thickens.
- Add the hearts of palm to the tomato mixture and let simmer 5 more minutes. Add the olives and stir well to combine. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool at room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
- To prepare the pie, remove both balls of dough from their plastic wrap. Take two sheets of baking paper. Spread a bit of flour over one baking sheet, place one ball of dough in the middle and flatten with the other baking sheet. Roll out the dough in the shape of a square with a rolling pin. Place the thin and flattened dough in a square Pyrex, making sure to pull the dough up the sides. Cut off any dough that hangs over the Pyrex’s edge and use to patch up any spots that remain uncovered.
- Flatten the second ball of dough according to the steps above and set aside.
- Pour the filling over the first layer of dough, making sure to spread it evenly across the Pyrex. Cover the filling with the second layer of dough and make sure that the pie is entirely covered, pinching the dough on the sides to form a nice design.
- Spread some beaten egg over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Cook in preheated oven for 1 hour or until golden. Serve warm.
How did your heart of palm and black olive pie come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram by tagging #savormania