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.

Leek and Swiss Chard Tart
adapted from Smitten Kitchen, where it was adapted from Bon Appetit

For tart dough:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter
1 egg
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.


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§ 6 Responses to Leek and Swiss Chard Tart

  • Gregory Gregg says:


    This looks amazing; your cooking inspires me so much. Do you prefer to make sweet or savory tarts?

  • mindy says:

    ooh this looks delicious. i made sk’s leek and mushroom tart a few weeks ago and my fiance said it was the best savory tart i’d ever made. i had never bought leeks before this year and now i cook with them all the time. the only annoying part is de-sanding them.

    more importantly, though, i just watched your second date with brian! so cute! and you’re so so pretty!

  • Jen says:

    I recently had a visit from a good friend who just graduated with her masters from NYU and she brought me some housewarming gifts from Whisk. I was impressed. If I finally get to visit her, I might need her to take me there!

  • allison says:

    i recently came across your blog via the amateur gourmet and what a great find it was. this tart is completely beautiful. can’t wait to try it!

  • Rick says:

    Thanks for your very human observations. I’ve had the same feelings with swiss chard, fresh beets, ginger, turnips and many of those cool looking tropical things like casaba, yucca, etc. The tart looks delish and I feel better about my stove top.

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