Monday, 2 May 2011

Finishing off the Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Amazingly some of last year's Swiss chard survived the heavy snow and ice we had this winter, but they are starting to bolt and look as though they are about to run to seed. Interestingly, the red rhubarb chard succumbed to the severe weather conditions so we are left with just the green varieties. Yesterday I harvested about half of the remaining crop and made a swiss chard tart from it.

Recipe: Swiss Chard Tart

This makes an 9 inch diameter tart 1.5 to 2 inches deep.


Shortcrust pastry made from 3oz of white plain flour, 3 oz of soya flour, 3 oz butter,  2 oz of grated cheese, 1/4 tablespoon salt, water to mix to a dough. Alternatively you can make a 'standard' shortcrust pastry using white plain flour or buy ready made pastry.

3 tablespoons  of olive oil
2 medium sized red onions thinly sliced
1lb swiss chard - stalks and leaves separated
3 medium/large eggs
200 ml crème fraîche or crème fraîche + greek style yoghurt
8 oz grated cheese (if you want to keep it "Swiss" use Gruyère or Appenzeller)
salt and freshly ground pepper
sprinkling of oregano, thyme (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 190 °C

2.  Roll out the pastry and line a round loose bottom tin or tart dish.  Then line the pastry with a circle of baking parchment and fill with baking beans to bake it "blind". Bake  for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

3. Remove the pastry from the oven and turn down the temperature to 175 °C

4. Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the sliced onions until soft. Chop up the swiss chard  stalks and add to the pan. Cook until soft  (about 4-5 minutes). Slice the chard leaves and add them to the pan. Mix everything in the pan together and cook until the leaves have wilted. Set to one side.

5. Mix the eggs with the crème fraîche (or crème fraîche/yoghurt mixture), add salt and pepper and the herbs (if you are using them) .

6. Sprinkle the bottom of the baked pastry case with about two tablespoons of the grated cheese. Then add the onion and chard mixture.

7. Add most of the rest of the grated cheese, keeping back about 2 tablespoons. Gently mix the cheese into the onion and chard using a fork (try not to gouge out the pastry base with the fork!). Pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese on top.

8. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the filling has set and the top is just starting to turn golden.

Eat hot, warm or cold.

Ingredients from our own garden: swiss chard, oregano, thyme