You’ve heard it again and again: Eat those dark-green leafy vegetables—many are especially rich in iron and in Vitamins A and C and a good source of dietary fiber.
Sure, you can always do spinach, but when you’re ready to veer off that beaten leafy-green path—in full French fashion—try a French favorite: Swiss Chard.
But first, let’s get one thing straight. The French don’t call it “Swiss” Chard. For them the leaves have nothing to do with Switzerland. Instead, they’re known as blettes.
Perhaps one of the best-known French ways to serve is in the utterly classic Tourte de Blettes—a double-crusted savory tart that has a filling that’s all about the chard. If you want a great recipe for Tourte de Blettes, try this recipe from David Lebovitz.
Or, try the green in my Swiss Chard Tart recipe that’s a little less eggy than a quiche (more about the chard and the cheese). It’s a nicely sturdy tart that can be cut into small wedges to serve as appetizers. You can also serve it with a variety of salads for lunch.
Swiss Chard Tart
1 recipe for a single-crust pie pastry (use your favorite or a purchased pastry)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch Swiss Chard (green chard red chard, or rainbow chard—any will work just fine), washed and patted or spun dry
2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded Comté, Gruyère, Emmental, or fontina cheese (about 4 ounces)
1. Position an oven rack in the lowest third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled pastry dough into a 13-inch circle; ease it into a 9 1/2-inch round quiche dish (or use a tart pan with removable bottom). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
3. Trim and discard the rough ends of the Swiss Chard. Cut the leaves away from the remaining stems and slice the stalks thinly. Slice the leaves into shreds. You should have around 3 1/2 cups stems and leaves—if you have less, that’s okay. If you have much more than that, reserve any extra for a salad.
4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stalks and cook about 2 minutes. Then, add the leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, just until leaves are just wilted and the stalks are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Place the chard into the prepared pastry shell.
5. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, and cayenne. Pour the mixture over and around the chard in the chilled pastry shell (don’t over-fill the shell—depending on how much chard you ended up with, you might have too much filling; just discard what you don’t need). Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the filling is set and the top of the tart is browned, 25 to 30 minutes, covering the edges with foil halfway through the baking time, if needed, to prevent the crust from overbrowning.
6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; slice into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves six as a light lunch serving.
All photos by Wini Moranville except:
• Swiss Chard at the Market by belmontmedina via Flickr.
• Sauteing Swiss Chard by CookingforGeeks via Flickr.
To continue to bring a little bit of France to your table, follow me on Facebook: Chez Bonne Femme, or check out my blog at http://chezbonnefemme.com. And be sure to check out my book, The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day. A bientôt!
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New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour