[Swiss Chard and Squash Seeds Tart]
Had you been in my kitchen last week, you would have heard a small squeal of joy. That would have been me, unloading the contents of my weekly Campanier basket of fruits and vegetables, and discovering a lush bunch of swiss chard.
The next day found me picking up a couple of ingredients from the grocery store, then getting on to make this Swiss Chard Tart. I have recently bought a bag of squash seeds and a bottle of squash seed oil that I seem to throw into everything I make these days, and it turned out to be an excellent mix of flavors. In passing, squash seed oil is apparently excellent for your prostate, should you be in possession of one.
This tart is second cousin to a swiss chard pie I had made back in October of last year, which included raisins and pinenuts. This time, I decided to purée the cooked chard mixture before putting it in the pie shell. I like it both ways in terms of texture, but this second method makes for a much nicer appearance.
Tarte aux Blettes et Graines de Courge
– a bunch of swiss chard, white and green (about ten leaves)
– 1 tsp squash seed oil (substitute olive oil)
– two heaping tablespoons of ricotta
– 1 egg
– one roll of pie dough (I use store-bought, but home-made would be great)
– a handful of squash seeds
– salt, pepper
– 1/4 C caramelized shallots
Rinse the swiss chard under cold water. Separate the white stems from the green leaves. Chop the stems, discarding the ends. Cut the greens in pieces.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the chopped stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, covered, over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender slightly translucent. Add the leaves to the skillet, and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes, until the greens are wilted. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning.
In the meantime, toast the squash seeds in a small dry skillet, and preheat the oven to 220°F (430°F).
Transfer the cooked chard into a food processor, add in the egg and the ricotta, and pulse until thoroughly mixed.
Line a tart pan with the pie dough. Spread the caramelized shallots on the bottom of the dough, and sprinkle with half of the toasted squash seeds. Pour in the chard mixture, even out the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle with the rest of the squash seeds.
Put in the oven to bake for about 40 minutes, until the filling is somewhat set and the pie crust starts to turn golden. Serve with a salad, dressed with balsamic vinegar and squash seed oil.