I had Swiss chard for the first time ever last week. I expected it to kind of be a kale-collard greens combo, but it wasn’t. It was really mild and colorful and good! It was even milder than spinach, which was a welcome surprise. I must admit, though, my favorite part is really how colorful and pretty it is– the bright magenta stalks are a welcome sight after a dark, dreary, traffic-filled drive home after work.
I might have actually eased into my chard introduction, because I didn’t just saute it and eat it plain. I saw this recipe for a chard, potato and goat cheese tart with red onion, and it sounded like it’d be delicious. Alas, I was correct. I can’t get enough of this savory tart, and I’ve made it twice in the past week.
It can be both casual and more formal. It comes together pretty quickly, so it’s a great weeknight meal, and I can also imagine preparing several of tarts for something new and nontraditional at Thanksgiving dinner. It would certainly be perfect for any vegetarians at the table.
Part of my love of the tart might honestly be because I like looking at the lovely stalks of chard so much. When the chopped pink stalks are combined with red onion slices and then bright green leaves in a skillet, it’s cheerful and pretty, and the colors reflect a bit off the pan, radiating their splendor over the stove top. It’s a bit of a shame when you have to scoop the chard mixture onto the olive oil crust, knowing that the oven will dampen the vegetables’ brightness, but it rewards you greatly in the end. All of the flavors blend together wonderfully.
Plus, like me, you can make the tart again (which I may very likely do in a few days). Hey, if chopping and cooking the pretty pink stems every week helps me get through the case of seasonal affective disorder I might have at the moment, I’m okay with that.
Note: This reheats nicely in an oven or toaster oven. Cover it with foil so the edges don’t burn.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup olive oil, plus more for the vegetables
⅓ plus ¼ cup water
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 red onion, vertically sliced and then halved
1 Yukon gold potato, thinly sliced
2 to 4 ounces goat cheese
1. Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. Add olive oil and water to the flour, and mix together well, using a spoon, until the dough comes together but is still crumbly. Dump onto a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough for one minute. Pat the dough into a 6 inch disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill while you put the filling together.
2. Remove the chard stems from the leaves; chop stems and reserve them separately from the leaves.
3. Heat a glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chard stems and onion, and cook. stirring occasionally, until they begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
4. Chop the chard leaves and add them to the pan. Saute until they start to wilt, about 3 minutes. Stir in a healthy pinch of kosher salt, 3 pinches of thyme (about ¾ teaspoon) and sliced potato. Remove the veggie mixture from the heat. Let it cool for a few minutes as you prepare the dough. Preheat the oven to 375.
5. Unwrap the dough, and roll it into a 14 inch circle on lightly floured a pizza pan OR roll it to the edges of the back side of a lightly floured 11 inch by 18 inch jelly roll pan. Spread the chard mixture over the dough, leaving a 2 inch border. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center, pressing gently to seal. Sprinkle with a few shakes or cranks of black pepper as well as small pieces of goat cheese. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, until the dough is golden and the cheese has some browned spots. Let stand for five minutes, cut into pieces and serve.