Sunday, June 28, 2009

Swiss Chard Tart with a Potato Crust

I stumbled across a Stonewall Kitchen store last week and saw their Harvest cookbook, which I just had to have—I admit that I have a cookbook addiction, and this new cookbook was just too irresistible to me! This cookbook focuses on using fresh ingredients, from the garden or farmer’s market. As I flipped through the beautiful glossy pages, this recipe caught my eye and knew I had to try it immediately.

This dish has a clever potato “crust” that holds a cheesy Swiss chard mixture. When wilting the Swiss chard, I added a package of sliced cremini mushrooms that I had in the fridge. I used my mandoline to thin-slice the potatoes uniformly and quickly.

McHubby and I both loved the flavor of this dish. The cheesy mixture set up similar to a quiche, but the veggies imparted a slight sweetness. This tart was simply delicious! The recipe makes two tarts, so you could easily cut the recipe in half if you only want to make one. Or you can eat one and freeze one. We ate this dish as a main course for dinner, but it also makes a wonderful breakfast or brunch.

1 ½ pounds Swiss chard
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, very thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large high-starch potatoes, like Idaho (8 to 10 ounces), unpeeled and scrubbed clean
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 heaping cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
2 cups ricotta cheese

Trim the stems of the chard, wash the leaves thoroughly, drain, and dry. Coarsely chop the chard. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add half the garlic and half the chard and cook, stirring frequently. As the chard cooks down, add the remaining chard and garlic. Season with salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring until the chard is just tender. Tilt the skillet to the side and blot up any excess liquid with a paper towel. Let cool.

To make the crust, slice the potatoes very thinly. It’s fine if some of the slices are smaller than the others—the important thing is to make them fairly uniform in thickness. Create a thin layer of the potato slices on the bottom of two pie plates (preferably glass), slightly overlapping them to create a solid bottom “crust.” Gently tuck potato slices along the edges to create a border up the sides of the pie plates. When you’re done, you should have two solid pie “crusts.” Use thin or oddly shaped potato slices to fill in any gaps. Discard the remaining slices. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over each crust, swirling the pan slightly so the oil spreads between the potato layers and drips to the bottom. Sprinkle each crust with ½ teaspoon of the thyme, some salt and pepper, and a heaping ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and whisk in the ricotta, the remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme, and the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooled sautéed chard and mix well. Divide the filling between the two pie crusts and press down lightly.

Bake the tart for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes. The potato crust should turn brown and crisp, and the filling should feel solid and firm when gently touched with your fingers. Let cool and 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.

1 comment:

  1. I had this dish at a friend's - she added rosemary and smoked paprika. It was gorgeous and delicious! Going to try my hand at it this weekend.