Sunday, May 9, 2010

Swiss Chard Tart with Goat Cheese and Golden Raisins

Yes, this is my lovely mother many years ago. It must have been my nap time.
Mother's Day has me thinking: what kind of mother am I? what things with my children remember me doing? and are all of them what I was intending? Probably not. I hope to teach my kids many good things hopefully, like that clothes are most comfortable worn front side forward, how to ride a bike, how to make bread and how to pray. We are still working on many of these. I know my mother taught me each of these; I thank her for that. Best of all she taught me by example. I just really love her. Thanks, mom for teaching me how to be mom (not that I know everything just yet).
My mother also taught me some important lessons about food. My favorite line was "This meal looks great, it is so COLORFUL!" My mother was not a fan of food coloring, she didn't color mashed potatoes like each selection from the rainbow (that was my paternal grandfather). Rather, she loves colorful food because as she taught me, color is good for you. That was a creative way of teaching us to eat more fruits and vegetables, eat colorful food. Today's dish is full of lovely colors.

Admire the lovely contrast of the red onion with the dark green chard against the goat cheese (and if you scroll down you'll see the golden raisins I forgot in the first picture). Pretty enough to eat. 
This is another fabulous meatless mains. This tart is just elegant and so pretty, though my boys wondered what was the real difference between this tart and a pizza. Honestly, only influence. Puff pastry, goat cheese, and chard make this French influenced more than Italian. But that isn't the important thing. It is just how very delicious this tart turned out. 
The original recipe called for a separate relish to serve alongside the tart. I've simplified things by incorporating some of those things into the tart instead. Now it is even faster than before. Yes. And the flavor really pops. Lots of depth from the greens (which you could substitute as needed for spinach or such), some punch from the red onion and tang from the goat cheese finished by the sweetness of the raisins. This one is a keeper.

Swiss Chard Tart with Goat Cheese, and Golden Raisins
Adapted from 
Sunday Suppers at Lucques
Serves 4-6
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 large egg 
1 large bunch of Swiss chard, cleaned, center ribs removed (go for two if the bunch looks smallish, I did)
Olive oil
¼ cup sliced shallots
1 tsp. thyme leaves
½ cup whole milk ricotta
¼ cup crème fraîche (sub for sour cream if needed or just increase your ricotta amount)
6 oz. semi-aged goat cheese
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/3 cup of raisins or currants                                                                                                                                                                                               1 T. Balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Unroll the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and lightly roll in each direction to for a neat rectangle, approximately 1/8-inch thick.  Carefully transfer the puff pastry to a parchment-lined baking sheet. (I used a silicone baking mat.) Use a paring knife to score a ¼-inch border around the edge of the pastry.  Make an egg wash by whisking one egg white, and brush the egg along the border.  (You will not need all of the egg.)  Chill the puff pastry in the freezer until ready to use.
Tear the chard into large pieces.  Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom.  Add the shallots and the thyme.  Sauté a few minutes and then add half the Swiss chard.  Cook a minute or two, tossing the greens in the oil to help them wilt.  Add the second half of the greens, and season with a heaping ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the greens are tender.
Spread the greens on a baking sheet or platter to cool.  When they are cooled, squeeze the excess water out with your hands.
Place the ricotta, remaining egg yolk and one tablespoon of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar in a bowl.  Whisk until smooth, then gently fold in the crème fraîche and season with a healthy pinch of salt and black pepper.
Spread the ricotta mixture on the puff pastry inside the scored border.  Crumble half the goat cheese over the ricotta, arrange the greens on top, spread on the red onion, and sprinkle the remaining goat cheese over the tart.  If you aren’t ready to bake, cover the tart with plastic wrap and chill.  
Bake the tart for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.  Check underneath the tart to make sure the crust is really cooked through.
Cool for a few minutes and then transfer the tart to a cutting board.  Sprinkle on the raisins and cut into pieces and serve.
How did your mother teach you how to eat well?


  1. Our community garden has Swiss chard; I have been wondering how I can use it. I'll have to try this lovely recipe out.

  2. Ahh!! I love that picture. How awesome. What a nice post. and yumm... puff pastry and goat cheese. yum. If only I could eat goat cheese now. =(

  3. Um, yum! I know what I'll be making for dinner :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.