Thursday, December 18, 2008

Swiss Chard Tart

Since I've made this tart four times in the last week, I feel like I need to share it with you all. I've made it so many times not just because it has a whole wheat crust, or because it's another way to get veggies on the table, or because it's a vegetarian entrée, or to use my new tart pan, but because it tastes so good! This tart is full of unexpected flavors and textures that bring something unique to any meal.

This recipe is based on Chocolate and Zucchini's Swiss Chard Pie, but I swapped out the pizza crust for the pâte brisée in the C&Z cookbook, which I made with whole wheat flour, and I used cottage cheese instead of costlier ricotta.

First, you make the pastry 30 minutes to one day ahead of time (it can be frozen for up to three days).

Pâte brisée
1 1/3 C King Arthur white whole wheat flour (white flour if desired)
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz chilled unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Ice cold water

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt, and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the butter and flour together make a coarse texture (this may also be done in a food processor). Stir in the egg, and then mix in the water one teaspoon at a time until the pastry starts to come together and you can form a ball. Make it into a flattened ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator 10 minutes before you plan to use it. After the 10 minutes, roll it out into a circle the size of your 10-inch tart pan (with removable bottom, if possible) on a floured pastry cloth. Lay the dough over your tart pan and press it lightly around the bottom edge. Use your hands to even the edges of the dough with the pan, removing any extra dough and smoothing out the edges. Now your dough is ready for the filling.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees while you prepare the filling.

Chard filling
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 handful raisins
1 handful pine nuts, toasted
1/2 C cottage cheese or ricotta cheese

Make a cup of tea and soak the raisins in the tea.

Prepare the Swiss chard by washing the leaves and stems. Separate the leaves from the stems and chop the stems to bite-size pieces. Gradually heat the clove of garlic in 1 tsp of olive oil in a saucepan, and then add the chard stems and cook them for a few minutes. Once they start to get translucent, add the chard leaves torn up into bite-sized pieces and cook for a few more minutes until wilted. Drain the cooked chard in a colander and then squeeze out excess moisture by placing cooked chard in a clean dish towel or doubled paper towel, twisting the towel around the chard, and squeezing out as must moisture as possible (if you skip this step, the tart will be watery).

Mix the drained chard with raisins, pine nuts, and cottage cheese/ricotta. Pour the mixture into the tart crust and spread evenly. Add more cheese if you'd like the tart to be more full.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and let cool before serving.

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