SWISS CHARD & BLACK KALE TART WITH GOAT CHEESE AND CRANBERRY RELISH, courtesy of Suzanne Goin
I love all greens cooked or raw and in most Italian cookbooks you’ll find a recipe for a side dish of cooked greens, currants and pine nuts. Here, Suzanne Goin, chef and author of Sunday Suppers At Lucques, created this flavorful Swiss Chard Tart, with the greens taking center stage. I love her cookbook because it’s beautifully written and very easy for the home chef to find the ingredients and follow the recipes. I’ve cooked and tested at least half the recipes in her book and majority of them are time consuming (including this one) but worth every minute of prep the minute you taste the festival of seasonal flavors in each dish. I’m planning to prepare a few more posts of her wonderful creations especially for Spring.
For this tart, I improvised and mixed in Black Kale because it was at the farmers market and looked divine and included dried cranberries instead of currants because I had them in my pantry and didn’t feel like running back out. I prepared this at home and traveled the tart uncooked to a friends party, so the last picture was taken on my iPhone after a few tasty cocktails so it’s a little blurry but wanted to show you a finished picture or something resembling it cooked.
For the Tart
- 1 Frozen sheet of All Butter Puff Pastry – Dufour is my top choice – you can order it online or check to see what store near you carries this brand.
- 1 Egg
- 1 Large Bunch of Swiss Chard, cleaned and ribs removed, chopped
- 1 Small Bunch of Black Kale
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Shallots
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Whole Milk Ricotta, drained if wet
- 1/4 Cup Creme Fraiche
- 6 ounces creamy goat cheese
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Current Pine Nut Relish
- 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 or 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
- 1 Chile de arbol (optional)
- 3/4 Cup finely diced red onion
- 1/3 Cup dried currants
- 1/4 Cup Balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Defrost the puff pastry slightly and unroll it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a paring knife to score a 1/4 inch border around the edge of the pastry.
Make an egg wash by whisking one egg yolk with 1/2 teaspoon water, and brush the egg wash along the border. Save the rest of the egg wash, you’ll need it for the ricotta spread. Chill the puff pastry in the freezer until ready to use.
Remove the ribs from the swiss chard and black kale and chop into thin slices, it’s much easier to eat when it’s fresh from the oven. It’s difficult to bite a large piece of cooked kale when it’s covered in cheese and piping hot. It may seem odd but I love to eat food lava hot - I actually have to pay attention and be careful not to burn my lip or roof of my mouth!
Heat a large saute pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the shallots and thyme. Saute for a few minutes until translucent, then add the swiss chard and black kale until it wilts, be careful not to over cook.
Cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently, until the greens are tender – remove from heat and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
Whisk together (or put into a food processor if you want to clean the damn thing) the ricotta, remaining egg yolk, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Whisk until smooth.
Gently fold in the creme fraiche and season with a healthy pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. For my everyday salt, I use Tangerine and Pink Pepper Italian Salt Flower – You can find it at Eataly in New York, which is the best option or if you speak Italian you can order online from company who imports – Elika Italia. It truly makes a big difference in the profile of flavor when you use the highest quality salt, pepper, spices, olive oils, vinegars, jams, etc… And when you can try to jar or pickle your own fruits and vegetables.
Spread the ricotta mixture on the puff pastry inside the scored borders. Crumble half the goat cheese over the ricotta, arrange the greens on top and sprinkle the remaining goat cheese over the tart. At this point, I refrigerated the tart, then baked it at my friends house. It smells amazing when it’s cooking so it’s perfect for entertaining and greeting people as they arrive.
Bake the tart for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cheese if bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and toast the pine nuts for about 8 minutes until they are golden brown. Heat a small saute pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium, and add the olive oil, rosemary, and chile if you choose to use one. When the rosemary and chile start to sizzle add the chopped red onion and season with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Turn down the heat to low, and let the onions stew gently for about 10 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a small bowl to cool and discard the rosemary sprig and chile. You’re just using them to flavor the oil.
In a small food processor or you can chop it with a sharp knife – chop the toasted pine nuts. And chop the parsley.
While the onion is cooling, place the currants or cranberries in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let the currants soak for 10 minutes, and then drain well and chop.
Combine the pine nuts, parsley and cranberries.
Add balsamic vinegar to the pan the onions were in, and reduce it over med-high heat to a tablespoon. Stir the reduced vinegar into the onion mixture.
Sprinkle the cranberry relish over the cooked tart.
Here’s the cooked tart – I’m hungry just writing this post!