Swiss Chard Tart

Photos by  Zachary Cross

Photos by Zachary Cross

This has been a great year for greens. The cool weather has lasted well into spring and we’ve had plenty of rain. But maybe you’re getting tired of greens? Try something new!

My first recommendation for something different to do with your greens comes from Tant Hill Farm: Ferment them. Go their blog for a recipe for Dua Cai Chua.
 
Chard in particular is a green that we should see throughout the summer, or at least most of the summer. It doesn’t mind the warmer weather the way most other greens do. I’ve prepared it many ways but found myself with an abundance of it and a desire for something new. After flipping through most of my cookbooks I turned to the internet.
 
Well, I found something different: Swiss Chard Hazelnut Dessert Tart from the blog Stone Soup. Despite coming from foodandnutrition.org it is not specifically a health food but an old French recipe. I imagine chard's high oxalic acid gives it appeal in a dessert for its tart flavor much the same way rhubarb does.
 
The tart does have a delightful tang, balanced by the egg and sugar. Since I cannot eat them myself I left off the hazelnuts and tart crust of the original dessert recipe and it was still good and appreciated by everyone. I'm sure it's even better with the nuts and crust. I hope to try it soon with a crust I can eat.
 
This recipe only uses the chard leaves. The color of the chard isn’t too important, though the darkest red chard will probably tint this dish pink. Use the stems in hummus or for a sauté. I plan to have more chard stem recipes up in the near future.
 
Bon appétit!

Swiss Chard Hazelnut Dessert Tart

Recipe by Michele Redmond, MS, RDN
 
Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole, fresh Swiss chard leaves with stems (about 3½ ounces with stems removed)

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 yolk from a large egg

  • 1¼ cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (from about half a large orange)

  • ½ cup whole, toasted, skinless hazelnuts

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 1 premade 9-inch tart dough

Directions

  1. Blanch the chard (if all the chard leaves are small, young, thin and supple, skip this step) by heating a large pot of water (about 2½ quarts or enough to cover the chard leaves) over medium heat. Have a colander nearby and some cold water available. Rinse Swiss chard and remove the stems with a knife. When the water is simmering but not boiling, add the chard leaves all at once. Press the leaves into the water to cover. Remove them after 45 seconds or when the leaves become soft and pliable. Pour the chard into the colander and rinse with cold water. When cool enough to touch, press with your hands to squeeze out the excess water.

  2. Chop chard leaves.

  3. Preheat oven to 400˚F.

  4. Chop hazelnuts into roughly ¼-inch pieces. Scoop up the nuts and shake out the smaller bits and "nut dust" between your fingers. (Reserve smaller pieces and dust for another use.)

  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, egg yolk, milk, vanilla extract and orange zest. Stir in the chopped Swiss chard.

  6. Pour mixture into the tart pan of the pre-cooked dough. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts evenly across the top and lightly press them into the custard.

  7. Bake for 30 to 34 minutes or until custard looks set — test it with a toothpick inserted into the custard for a clean removal. Remove and cool.

  8. Just before serving, sprinkle tart with powdered sugar. Serves 8.

Printable recipe here

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