Tourte Aux Blettes: Swiss Chard Tart
Growing up in NJ, I had always heard the saying, "a man with no zucchini, is a man with no friends".
What that saying means is, since everyone has so many tomatoes and zucchini in their garden at the same time, they have to give them away!
How many zucchini breads can one person eat?
There was always a brown bag of zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant on our doorstep.
I don't need a CSA box, I have friends and neighbors!
Today's delivery was a beautiful freshly picked bouquet of Swiss chard brought over by my wanna be farmer neighbor, Glenn. It was even washed for me and arranged in a vase!
The fresher the chard is, the sweeter it is. It is always best the day it is picked.
Since I love tarts (you think?), I decided on a Tourte aux Blettes, the beautiful savory tart from Nice, France, made with Swiss chard, raisins and pine nuts.
I made a simple pastry crust from Patricia Wells cookbook Bistro Cooking, which is nothing but flour, olive oil and salt. No butter or cream needed in this recipe.
My version of Tourte aux Blettes (Savory Swiss Chard Tart):
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. of Swiss chard leaves and most of the stems, washed
salt and pepper
3 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup Zante currants (you can substitute golden raisins)
Make the crust. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the water and then the oil, mixing until thoroughly blended. Knead briefly. The dough will be very moist, like cookie dough.
Press the dough into a 10" tart pan w/ a removable bottom.
Prepare the filling.
Wash the chard thoroughly and dry it well. Chop into pieces and add to a heavy skillet w/ olive oil.
Using tongs, toss the chard around for a few minutes on medium heat until it starts to wilt, it will decrease in size by a lot. Season with salt and pepper.
When cool enough, transfer the Swiss chard to a food processor and pulse a few times to chop it finer. I did this in 2 batches.
Combine the eggs, cheese, currants and toasted pine nuts.
Add the chopped Swiss chard and mix together.
Pour into your prepared pie shell and bake at 400F for about 30-40 minutes.
You can serve this hot or cold, however, I like it best about an hour after baking, at room temperature.