Leek and Swiss Chard Tart
8.7.10 § 6 Comments
I think I’ve hinted at my farmers market neuroses before, but in case you need a recap, here is what happens: I go to the farmers market, look around at all the amazing produce, get overwhelmed, and walk away without buying anything because I feel intimidated and don’t know how to use half of the things I see. To be fair, I’m slowly but surely getting this under control, but it used to be a big problem.
Take leeks for example. Never in my life had I cooked with leeks. So naturally, when I saw a gorgeous pile of them at the union square greenmarket, I picked them up, thought wistfully about what I’d do if I knew how to use them (buy some probably), put them down, and walked away feeling downtrodden.
The next day, as I spent far too much time browsing through the archives over at Smitten Kitchen (surprise, surprise), I came across a recipe for a leek and swiss chard tart. Yes! Victory! I decided that not only would I buy leeks on my next trip to the greenmarket, but that the occasion also warranted the purchase of a tart pan. (Woo-hoo!
I love any excuse to stop in at my friendly, neighborhood kitchenware store.)
Alas, on my next trip to the market, leeks were nowhere to be found. I should have expected this, since this is how my life usually works. Regardless, I was determined to make this tart in my new fancy tart pan, so I grabbed the chard, ran into whole foods, and bought my first leeks.
I’m so glad I didn’t give up. This tart was great – both straight from the oven and reheated all week long as breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. The crust was a bit difficult to make, I had a hard time getting it to come together. I’m just going to blame this on the fact that I’m currently substituting an empty wine bottle for a rolling-pin. (Typical.) But hey, it works for now.
For tart dough:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter
For the filling:
2 tbsp butter
3 large leeks (white and green parts only), coarsely chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3/4 bunch swiss chard, ribs removed, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until it is in very tiny bits. Add one egg (a fork works great for this) and mix it until a dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle (with either a rolling pin or an empty wine bottle, your choice). Place the dough in a 9-inch tart pan and press to remove any air bubbles. Press the dough into the crimps on the tart pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (If you don’t have a tart pan, a deep pie dish will also work.)
Melt butter for the filling in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; cook, stirring often, until leeks are very tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add chard; saute until wilted, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Whisk whole milk and next 6 filling ingredients in large bowl. Mix in cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust. You may have a bit of extra filling. I filled my tart really full and just put a cookie sheet on the rack below it to catch any spillover.
Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until filling is puffed and just set in center, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes. Slice and serve.