I have so enjoyed this segue into summertime! Our weather has been pretty perfect for the past couple weeks ... cool nights, sunny days in the mid 70's to low 80's, a bit of rain now and then to get the gardens growing well, and some cloud cover to keep things from heating up to quickly! Consequently, the vegetable gardens are really beginning to come on and Swiss chard, salad greens, and herbs are plentiful!
This tart is a tribute to all that is seasonal right now in our 'neck of the woods' ... the recipe comes from a cook book author and recipe developer named Martha Rose Shulman. She writes for the NYT Healthy Living series and submits recipes for print in their special column. I have played a bit with her original recipe, but not enough to take credit for this light tasty tart! One thing I would urge you to do whenever you make an egg-based tart is to blind bake the crust/shell. I know it's a pain in the neck, but the resulting crust is far superior - crisped, flaky across the bottom of the tart, and perfect when cut into wedges.
Provençal Swiss Chard and Zucchini Tart
Makes a 9-inch tart
1 recipe for a one-crust pie crust – your favorite, chilled, rolled, and blind baked
½ lb. Swiss chard, blanched, chilled in a water bath, and squeezed to remove water
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 medium, sweet white onion, chopped, small dice
1 lb. small zucchini squashes, chopped small dice
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ tsp. rosemary needles, chopped
4 oz. sharp Cheddar or Gruyère cheese, grated
3 large eggs
A pinch nutmeg
½ c. light cream
Black pepper and sweet paprika for sprinkling atop the tart
Making the Tart:
- Prepare the pie crust and blind bake in a 375° F oven for 15 minutes with pie weights and another 4-5 minutes with the weights removed. Remove the crisped pie crust from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the crust bakes, prepare the Swiss chard leaves by snipping the long stems and setting them aside, blanching, chilling and chopping the squeezed out chard. Place the chard in a deep mixing bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter with the olive oil in a deep fry pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and dices chard stems and sauté until the onion glistens and is translucent. Add the zucchini dice and continue cooking for about just tender and still a pretty green.
- Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook for a minute – just until the garlic is fragrant.
- Toss everything into the bowl with the Swiss chard and mix well. Salt and pepper, to taste.
- In another small bowl, beat the eggs, light cream and nutmeg.
- Place a third of the grated cheese in the bottom of the pie shell, add half the vegetable mix, the second third of the cheese, the rest of the vegetable mix, drizzle over the egg mix, strew the last third of the cheese on top, sprinkle with black pepper and sweet paprika and pop into the 375° F oven.
- Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the tart is golden and bubbling, set in the middle and puffed beautifully.
- Remove from the oven and let the tart set up for about 15 minutes before cutting.