I should warn you, it’s a hundred percent probable that I will turn into a layer cake by the end of March.

After all, they do say that you are what you eat. And between my birthday, my anniversary, my sister’s birthday, The.Boy’s birthday (which includes a family birthday party this coming weekend and a friends birthday party the weekend after), and Easter…if I don’t turn into a big fluffball of swiss meringue buttercream, flour and sugar, it will be a miracle of epic proportions.


So I’ve tried to balance it out. With more cake.

Of the savory variety.

You see, tortino means “little cake” in Italian so while this may seem to us uncultured Americans like a layered casserole it’s actually a savory layer cake once you cross the Atlantic Ocean.


It’s all semantics really except that a tortino is totally party-worthy while a casserole is met with much less fanfare.

And if I’m going to turn into a cake anyway, I might as well throw some swiss chard filling and parmesan frosting into the mix.  Especially now that the Mediterranean diet is back in good standing.  (Yes, how shocking that eating whole, unprocessed foods will combat heart disease and stroke. Cue eye roll.)

Finally we can have our cake and eat it too.  And if we’re lucky, it might even counteract some of that buttercream you know we’ve been licking out of the stand mixer. We can only hope.


One year ago…Chocolate Brownie Cookies with White Chocolate and Roasted Macadamia Nuts
Two years ago…Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki and Pomegranate Tabbouleh, Oven Baked Beignets with Saffron, Dried Cherries and a Coconut Sugar Glaze
Three years ago…Spicy Turkey Burgers on Avocado-Guacomole Buns
Four years ago…Fettuccine with Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Meatballs

Eggplant and Swiss Chard Tortino
Serves 6, adapted from Closet Cooking 


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches swiss chard, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup grated provolone
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups marinara sauce


  1. Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the olive oil and placed on two parchment-lined baking sheets in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake in a 400 degree oven until tender and just browning on top, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and swiss chard and saute until the swiss chard has wilted. Mix in the provolone until it melts.
  5. Let the chard cool and then mix in the eggs.
  6. Cover the bottom of a greased 10-inch springform pan with 1/3 of the eggplant slices, followed by 1/2 of the swiss chard mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella, 1/3 of the eggplant, and the remaining swiss chard, mozzarella, and eggplant. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Serve topped with marinara sauce.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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75 Responses to Eggplant and Swiss Chard Tortino

  1. Mmm a savory cake! An excellent way to balance all the sweets 🙂

  2. Mila says:

    I’m now wondering if tortillas are related to cake, too. At least in Spain?

  3. Amy says:

    Ow wow. My December is your March. With 4 family birthdays, Christmas, and Hanukkah…by January 1st I had sworn off cake. Too bad I didn’t know about this tortino back then, to get me through my cleanse faze.

  4. Hovkonditorn says:

    What a beautiful tortino!

  5. Sarah says:

    Eggplant, cheese, eggs and tomato sauce are meant to be together. Meant. To. Be.

  6. Foodycat says:

    Looks good – sort of like Spanish tortilla or a frittata but with a bit of melanzane parmigiana thrown in! Lovely.

  7. What a great looking cake! 😉 Seriously though, this does look awesome! Have fun with all your celebrations!!!

  8. Audra says:

    This looks amazing! I was hoping you’d explain what a “Tortino” was 🙂 And turning into a layer cake- not the worst right?

  9. A busy February/March for both of us! As you know, I have been craving Mediterranean eats, too, lately. 🙂

  10. Sometimes, not often, savoury cakes are just what one needs 🙂

  11. I’m been waiting for you to post the recipe after I saw the pic on fb. Cannot wait to make this!

  12. SallyBR says:

    Love this type of recipe, and how thoughtful of you to post my favorite type of cake right on MY Birthday!


    (enjoyed the eye roll with the Mediterranean diet – I had the exact same reaction when I read the published article, which by the way is quite interesting)

  13. marie says:

    Hahaha, hey turning into a cake wouldn’t be such a bad thing. But I had cake last night and I am looking forward to a lot of veggies today. I can still feel the cake in my belly!

  14. Danielle says:

    I love finding new things to do with eggplany – this looks delish!

  15. sandra says:

    yummy. i wish i could eat all that cheese – i would make this in a second!!

  16. Aww man, this looks amazing! Very cool idea, and if you need to eat cake all the time this one is the way to go!

  17. Lora says:

    Sometimes we all need a break from fluffy buttercream. This is the perfect solution.

  18. Mmm, now this is a cake I can get behind (especially after I’ve gotten behind a birthday cake, a pie and some cookies these past few days… ahem.) 🙂

  19. Lynn says:

    This looks soooo good.

  20. Considering the amount of buttercream I consumed yesterday and the fact that I have an eggplant in my fridge with nowhere to go, I will definitely be making this!

  21. Ashley Bee says:

    Ahh you are the absolute BEST at making the most delicious veggies ever. This tart-like contraption is so delicious looking! And keep the cakes coming–I tried to make your salted caramel cake but I burnt the caramel 🙁 I will keep trying though!

  22. Jessie says:

    Isn’t it crazy how birthdays tend to cluster around each other? In Peter’s family’s case, it’s birthdays AND holidays – October to January is just one long cake and pie fest. Now this, THIS is a cake I will dive into after the sugar rush of the holidays is finally over. Love it! 🙂

  23. Dumb question–do you ‘sweat’ your eggplants before cooking with them (salt them and let them rest to remove the water)? Fortunately, my birthday is in July. Not only are there few holidays around that time, but they tend not to be food holidays and no one feels like eating an enormous amount in the middle of the summer. However, at least having your family birthdays mainly February through March, it is still sweater rather than swimsuit season!

  24. Ashley says:

    This looks wonderful – I love how the deep red pops on top of it. I wish I had some of this right now…it looks like the perfect lunch!

  25. I’m trying to imagine my kids face if I offered them this cake. Ha!

    This looks absolutely amazing. And, seriously, if you do turn into a layer cake? I’ll just love you even more. Though I don’t promise I won’t lick you.

  26. Big cake, little cake, sweet cake, eggplant cake – I would like them all! This looks insanely good!

  27. What gorgeousness! Even though it has humble (and savoury) origins this baby shines out. Like Ralph Wiggam from the Simpsons saig to Lisa… “I choo-choo-choose YOU!” little savoury cake hiding your amazing allure under the carpet of cake cover. I could even veganise this recipe with homemade mozzarella and besan and I reacon it would STILL taste amazing. I have home grown eggplants coming out of my ears and need sterling recipes to deal with them that give centre stage to these gorgeous babies. This recipe is just such a recipe. I am going to try this ASAP 🙂

  28. love this idea for a savory cake!! yum 🙂

  29. This is my kind of cake Joanne!!!! totally making this 🙂

  30. You are singlehandedly feeding my eggplant addiction and I love it! Keep ’em coming 🙂

  31. the second to last shot of the tortino with the eggplant slices on top is hands down A WINNER! Wow, it looks beautiful and delicious. Bring on the veggies!

  32. Natalie G says:

    Looks great Joanne! I need more eggplant in my life 🙂

  33. Eileen says:

    We have the same all-birthday situation every October–but I’ve never had a tortino! I love the idea of many layers of savory veg with a rich sauce. 🙂

  34. Pam says:

    Seriously drooling. It looks AMAZING and pretty too!

  35. Mary says:

    Joanne, this is spectacular. As to miracles, best not to try the walk on water routine until you are back on regular food plan :-). I hope your week is off to a great start. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  36. Hotly Spiced says:

    That does sound like a lot of cake eating but if you’re doing all the baking, I’m sure it’s perfectly fine. What a lovely looking dinner and so full of goodness. What is half and half? xx

  37. cindspectus says:

    Wow, that looks great. I was out at a fancy restaurant this weekend (more birthdays!) and the scalloped potatoes looked like a piece of cake. This is a lovely idea, I think I need to start making more of my dinner look like dessert.

  38. Pam says:

    I go through that birthday rush from May to August. I start consuming my weight in cake in May, and finish it off quite nicely with middle daughter’s birthday in August.

  39. Karis says:

    I wish I was getting CSA eggplant right now. I hope I don’t forget about this recipe by the time it starts arriving.

  40. Kevin says:

    Your tortino looks os amazingly good! I am now craving it again!

  41. Kari says:

    After making (and eating!) a layer cake on the weekend, this is looking very appealing. And very appropriate. I’m delighted to learn the meaning of tortino too – I’m going to do my utmost to throw it into casual conversation.

  42. Yum, love this! I know my hubby would make it too! Totally pinning 🙂

  43. I love this idea, Joanne! 🙂 Making a savory cake – that makes me smile. 🙂

  44. I love pretty layered things like this, and I am obsessed with your picture of the swiss chard!

  45. Reeni Pisano says:

    Only you could make eggplant so darn delicious looking! Love this savory cake! Lucky – all those people who get to eat your baking!

  46. Katie says:

    I just think the name of this is fantastic. Thanks for introducing me to the tortino! It looks incredible.

  47. Gloria Baker says:

    I love eggplants and this look delicious Joanne:)

  48. That Girl says:

    If you turn into a cake, I’m going to be a cupcake! At least we’re in good company.

  49. Donna says:

    Savory Cake? What on earth will you cook up next?!?

  50. A “big fluffball of swiss meringue buttercream” – maybe I’ll just have some cake with you so you don’t feel too bad.

    And that tower of eggplant there – yeah, I need that in my life stat!

  51. Oh, I am all for a savory layer cake – as a matter of fact, I think I’d rather eat this than a super sweet one, anyway! Super delicious!

  52. A great answer to buttercream…a delicious savory cake. Love your photos as they make me want to grab a fork.

  53. Victoria says:

    This is a cake I could totally get behind! I love all the fresh veggies and the CHEESE! It’s really beautiful too. Funny thing, I was looking at the posts you listed from years past and I remember eating that leg of lamb with the pomegranate tabbouleh with you! Can’t believe it was 2 years ago! Miss you, sweetie! Gonna send you an email soon 🙂 xo

  54. This looks so good – I love southern European cooking! Thank you for sharing!

  55. Caroline says:

    This is making me HUNGRY!!! It’s so beautiful! Can’t wait to try it.

  56. This looks so delicious! I love eggplant and am always looking for new ways to enjoy it.

  57. aaaaahhhh… u just made me hungry…i love eggplants and now i am drooling!

  58. grace says:

    what an attractive dish! this sounds tasty, joanne, and that’s coming from a true cake aficionado. 🙂

  59. Savory cake sounds right up my alley! Looks amazing!

  60. Deborah says:

    Hey – if you are going to turn into something, a layer cake isn’t a bad way to go! 😉 This looks delicious – I don’t eat eggplant nearly enough!

  61. Katerina says:

    The best eggplant dish I had was in Palermo, Sicily a few years ago. I still remember it. I love eggplant and this one looks like a star!

  62. Hello Joanne! I am a new reader, now addicted to your blog.
    I made this last night (only substituted baked tomatoes for the eggplant and added sausage for my meat-loving BF) and it was awesome! We ate the whole thing just the 2 of us.

  63. Johanna GGG says:

    March is a month of reprieve from birthdays and it has been a nice change – good luck with your month of buttercream – the tortino sounds delicious and just what you will need to balance up all that sugar and cream 🙂

  64. Beth says:

    This looks wonderful! Love the flavors, and it doesn’t even look like that much work. Enjoy birthday month!

  65. Tessa says:

    I just pulled all the Swiss Chard out of the garden so we could replant for spring/summer. Definitely looks like a great way to use it, although I’m having a little trouble deciding between this and the tacos 🙂

  66. Creative, delicious and great pics…

  67. Gorgeous savoury layers 🙂 licking the buttercream off the beater is totally the best part about making cakes!!! Happy belated birthday Jo 😀

  68. Carlisle says:

    Made this last night – delicious!

  69. […] year ago…Eggplant and Swiss Chard Tortino, Za’atar and Aleppo Pepper Roasted Potato, Bean and Swiss Chard Tacos, Red Lentil Coconut […]

  70. Michelle Goode says:

    I made it last night and my guests loved it and want the recipe. I had to guess at when to add the Half and Half and what temp to cook it on…Can you share?

  71. I made it last night and my guests loved it and want the recipe. I had to guess at when to add the Half and Half and what temp to cook it on…Can you share?

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