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Tart-tastic: Piliging the Farmers Market Like Its Going Out of Style

September 23, 2009

Swiss Chard is pretty. Even in September. And that’s saying something, because although I love mums and onions and root vegetables as much as the next girl, there’s an impending darkness descending on the farmer’s markets throughout the city. Even on those beautiful, crisp and blue fall days that we had last weekend, the Swiss Chard is becoming the sole source of green and pretty on at the farmers stands. O, and tomatoes. But I’m a little over tomatoes for the next week. People, pace yourself on the tomatoes – no one needs a bushel for $5 unless they are into canning. Which I’m not. So why, WHY did they let be buy a bushel of tomatoes?!

Except an influx of tomato themed dishes shortly.

Once I had procured the chard and any other “summer-y” fruit and veggies left at the market, I was on the hunt for a good tart recipe, having decided eons ago that just munching on wilted chard as a side really isn’t my favorite side. Below is an adaption of a few different recipes. I adjusted it because I wanted onion, garlic, chard, and cheese to be my main components. But you could adjust for whatever veggies you have in the fridge or find yourself craving. Hence the masterpiece that is the tart!

Swiss Chard & Swiss Onion Tartastim

1/2 package of frozen philo dough
2 tablespoons butter
3 onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese, divided
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolks
1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated preferred
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Take philo dough package out of freezer to defrost so it becomes malleable (instead of breaking as you try to roll it out – we don’t want that, that would suck). You should pull off two sheets for the bottom and two sheets for the top, and still have some sheets left for your next tart endeavor.

Transfer your “bottom” crust to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold under; crimp edges. Cover and stick it back in the fridge to chill. Reserve 1/2 of your crust to drape over the top

For your mise, slice your onions, chop your garlic, roughly chop up your Swiss chard, and grate your cheese. If you’ve got that much done, you’re in a good spot.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally so that you are sweating out your onions evenly (we’re not browning them, just getting them to that cooked-clear look) for about 10 minutes. Add parsley and mix in to coat the onion mixture evenly, and to wilt your parsley a bit (this takes the bite off a little).

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. 

In separate pot, boil water to blanch your chard and in a bowl on the side, set up water with ice- yes, I am aware that we don’t usually “blanch” things on this blog, but that’s just silly because blanching is so easy and it keeps the chard (and most other vegetables) crisp and tender, while also preserves texture, color and flavor, and the texture and color is huge when you’re in tart form.

Boil the chard only until they’re barely cooked through, but still tender. To test, remove one piece with a slotted spoon, dip it into the ice bath to cool, and eat it. As soon as the chard are done, remove them as fast as you can and submerge them in the ice bath. Add to the onion/garlic mash, stirring to combine evenly.

Whisk cream, eggs, and nutmeg together in a large, then add the grated cheese and then pour over the chard/onion/parsley mix. Remove the crust from the fridge and fix and edges or areas that the crust may have shifted. Pour the whole thing into the crust-lined baking dish, then drape the “top” crust over the top of your tart.

Bake tart 10 minutes, or until the top begins to brown around the edges. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until filling is puffed and just set in center, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes to give everything the chance to set up, and also get to a wonderfully tasty heat that won’t scald the top of your mouth. Serve warm-to-hot.
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