Looking for non-traditional (at least for your family) side options this Thanksgiving? This series highlights the unconventional, interesting twists on sides available for sale at Houston restaurants. Pick up some to add some variation to Turkey Day.
Shame is not usually the first feeling I have when I learn about a new ethnic food. I was more than a bit embarrassed, however, when I saw the word erbazzone on Revival Market's Thanksgiving menu and had no freakin' clue what it was. Not that I consider myself to be so well-versed in world cuisine that I am aware of every last dish on the planet. Given that I discover types of food that are new (to me) almost every time I walk into Kroger, it's still clear I have a lot to learn.
Rather, it was my strong suspicion not just that erbazzone was an Italian food, but also that I had actually eaten it at some point in my life and had no memory of the event. The former fact was confirmed with some Internet research, the latter during an online conversation with my sister about this mysterious Italian egg pie during which she said (well, wrote) casually, "Erbazzone...yeah, we totally had that at Nan and Pop's all the time during the holidays."
Yikes, more proof of my early-onset dementia. I have many food memories from my maternal grandmother's kitchen, but there's definitely an erbazzone lacuna.
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Well, what better way to jog my memory than to read up on the origins and preparation of this dish and then go try Revival Market's version?
Erbazzone, as I soon (re)learned, is a traditional egg, spinach, bacon and cheese pastry from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Some sources insist it is a spring and early summer dish, while others note erbazzone (or scarpazoun, as it's known in Italian dialect) is also commonly featured on winter holiday dinner tables, especially when served hot from the oven.
Revival Market is offering a wide assortment of delicious sides this Thanksgiving (duck fat fingerling potatoes!), but the erbazzone is perhaps the most exotically decadent. Their take on erbazzone involves an egg custard scented with nutmeg that houses layers of sautéed beet and turnip greens that have been finished with sherry vinegar, bacon, testa and salami bits, pecorino cheese and chile flakes. Encasing all this fine matter is a medium-thick flaky pastry that will probably tempt you to skip the interior vegetables during helpings number two and three in favor just eating the crust.
Erbazzone and other Thanksgiving sides will be available for sale (grab-and-go, not pre-order) at Revival Market starting on Sunday, November 24. Revival Market is not open on Thanksgiving morning, so all shopping should be done by Wednesday, November 27.