À La Fortune Du Pot
That’s pot luck to Anglophones, the luck of the pot. When our English students started planning a pot luck to celebrate the end of the term, right away I realized that left to their own devices no one would be bringing anything with vegetables. Mad vegetable lover that I am, I scrounged in the bottom drawer of the fridge.
Beautiful Swiss chard. A giant bunch of green onions. Bingo, tarte aux blettes, or Swiss chard pie. Don’t shudder, it’s fabulous. And because I had chestnut flour that I’ve been wanting to use up before it gets stale, Swiss Chard Pie in Chestnut Crust was born. Oh, and as it happened, à la fortune du frigo, by the luck of the fridge there were 4 languishing egg yolks that needed using up as well. Yes, it’s true, this recipe is unabashedly rich. It’s delicious as is, but you can lighten it up if you’re so inclined by substituting two whole eggs for the four yolks.
Swiss Chard Pie in a Chestnut Crust
For the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour*
1/2 cup chestnut flour
6 oz salted butter**
1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
4 Tbs. ice water
*If you’re making this in France, use 1/2 cup type 65 flour, 1/2 cup type 45, and 1/2 cup chestnut flour.
** In France, use demi-sel with crystals of sea salt
For the filling:
1 large bunch of chard, stems diced fine, leaves in chiffonade
1 large bunch of green onions, sliced, green and white parts separated
2 Tbs fruity olive oil
1/2 tsp quatre épices, or nutmeg if necessary
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 cup heavy cream
2 whole eggs
4 egg yolks
Place the flours, chopped herbs, and the butter, cut in chunks, in the food processor. Pulse 6-7 times until the butter remains in pea-sized chunks. Turn the mixture out into a bowl and with a fork stir in the ice water. On a lightly floured board or marble slab, turn the dough a few times just until it holds together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the diced chard stems and the white parts of the green onions and sweat them, covered, over a low flame, for 5 minutes. Add the chard leaf chiffonade and the sliced onion greens to the pot. Salt, pepper, and sprinkle with the quatre épices. Cover the skillet and sweat the vegetables together for another 5 minutes. The chard should be tender to the bite and highly seasoned. Remove from the fire and let cool.
Roll out the dough and fit it into a removable bottom tart pan.
Whisk together the crème fraîche, cream, eggs, and egg yolks. Stir in the cooled vegetables. Pour mixture into the tart shell and set the tart in the hot oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350° and continue baking the tart for another 25-30 minutes, until the surface is golden, slightly puffed, and lightly firm.
Serve at room temperature at a pot luck.
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