I think rainbow chard may just be my favorite green, it’s like eating the rainbow! Whether raw or cooked, the wide leaves maintain such a velvety softness and the veins running through the center keep them stunning with flashes of yellow, purple, pearly white, orange or deep red. The stems provide an excellent crunch and taste similar to beets with their earthy sweetness. They are especially good pickled!
A few years ago, when I still lived with my parents and god bless them, they payed for cable, I became a fan of a show on the Cooking Channel called French Food at Home hosted by Laura Calder. I am a huge fan of her recipes and style of cooking. She’s a little cooky herself but fun nonetheless. She has a super effortless, clean, country style approach to French food that I adore. This recipe is an adaptation of a savory swiss chard tart that I saw her prepare on her show all those years ago. It’s still the first thing I make when I get my hands on a bundle!
This tart is decadent, salty, sweet, buttery goodness. I like to serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner alongside a simple green salad. It also makes an impressive recipe for entertaining! I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!
Rainbow Chard Tart with Bacon, Creme Fraiche and Grainy Mustard
Recipe adapted from Laura Calder
- 1 recipe Pate Brisee, to follow
- 1 bunch Plowbreak rainbow chard, leaves roughly chopped, stems thinly sliced
- 4 ounces Piggery cottage bacon, cut into lardons (you could use your favorite style of bacon here)
- 4 Plowbreak garlic scapes, thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, minced
- splash Sherry vinegar
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
- handful of golden raisins
- handful of toasted pine nuts
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- 2 tablespoons good whole grain mustard
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To prepare the filling, heat a bit of olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. When hot add the cottage bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon has crisped up. Add the garlic scapes, chard stems and shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add the chard leaves and a splash of Sherry vinegar and cook until the leaves have wilted and are the brightest of green. Season with salt to taste.
Remove the filing to a bowl and let cool slightly. To prepare the custard, whisk together the creme fraiche, grainy mustard and the eggs. Season with salt. When the filling has cooled, stir in the Gruyere, pine nuts and golden raisins.
Pour the filling into the par-baked tart shell. Pour the custard over the filling and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until the custard has set. Serve at room temperature.
Basic Pate Brisee
Ratio via Michael Ruhlman
- 8 ounces all purpose flour
- 6 ounces very cold butter, diced
- 1-2 ounces ice cold water, milk, buttermilk or cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and whisk to remove any lumps. Add the butter and begin to pinch and rub it into the flour until the largest pieces are no bigger than peas. Add the water a bit at a time, working the dough gently with your hands, until most of the flour has been absorbed.
Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, pat into a wide circle, wrap tightly and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, retrieve the dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a 12 inch circle. Roll the circle of dough up onto your rolling pin and transfer to a buttered 9 inch removable bottom tart pan. Press the dough into the bottom and fluted sides, removing any excess dough from the overhang. Use this dough in case you need to spot repair any places where the dough may have ripped or gotten thin.
Place the tart shell into the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove the tart shell from the freezer and place a piece of parchment paper over the top and fill the tart with pie weights or dried beans. Blind bake the tart shell for 15 minutes.