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Olive Tart with Chard

(recipe, Caroline Lewis)

Introduction

My culinary mentor Robert Reynolds sent me this recipe when I told him I was writing a blog posting on chard. It utilizes both the leaves and stems of the plant to create a delicious tart as well as a colorful side salad and garnish.

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1½ tsp. yeast
  3. ¾ cup cold water
  4. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  5. 2 medium onions, sliced thin
  6. 6 to 8 Swiss chard leaves, stems removed, greens chopped coarsely (reserve stalks for another use; see Note)
  7. 1 or 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  8. ½ cup black olives, pitted and split
  9. 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 2 Tbsp. crème fraîche

Steps

  1. Put the flour in a bowl.
  2. Proof the yeast in a little warm water on one side of the bowl. Add cold water to the other side of the bowl and mix into some of the flour on the side to make a slurry. Put a teaspoon of salt onto the flour. Let the bowl sit for 20 minutes to allow the yeast to proof, and the autolyse to take effect with the flour/water mix. At the end of 20 minutes, gather the flour into a ball, adding more water as needed, and knead the dough until it is smooth, about 50 turns. Allow the dough to rest.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Sauté the onions until they begin to soften, without coloring, in the oil. Give a sprinkle of salt, and cover tightly to cook slowly until soft. Add chard, along with the garlic and thyme, and continue cooking, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates.
  5. Beat the eggs and crème fraîche in a small bowl until homogenous, then add to the chard and mix gently. Season to taste.
  6. Spread the dough in an oiled 9-inch tart pan with removable sides, creating a crust that will contain the egg/chard mix. Use less of the dough to make a thinner crust, if you prefer. Pour chard and egg mix into the shell. Sprinkle olives and bake 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Note

Cut the chard stalks diagonally into a julienne, then blanch in salted water until tender. Drain, cool, dress with a vinaigrette, and serve as a garnish to the tart.