Sunday, May 13, 2012

Swiss chard and Mushroom tart

The last time I posted a recipe with Swiss and mushrooms, it was a pasta dish. I happen to like that combination, and this time it has worked very well in this tart. The juicy mushrooms and the refined taste of the Swiss chard when cooked, combined with slowly caramelized red onions made a great filling for this tart. I like my tarts without eggs; otherwise it begins to feel like quiche. Hence I skip the eggs and load up on the veggies. Finally I topped it off with a combination of salty aged cheddar and stringy mozzarella. Baked for 40 minutes in a medium hot oven, the tart gets a nice brown crust, and it is delicious.

I served it for dinner since it was quick as I had the dough left over from the previous Asparagus and leek tart that I had made. But it is a hearty lunch or a sumptuous first course for company as well.

Swiss chard and mushroom tart with a olive oil pastry dough

Tart Shell
Makes two 9 - 10 inch crusts and the trimmings make two 3 inch crusts

1 ¼ cups unbleached all purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for spraying
  1. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
  2. Transfer the flour mixture to the food processor with the metal blade inserted. With the motor running,  add the olive oil, then ¾ cup water. When the dough comes together in a ball, turn off the motor. Scrape the dough out of the food processor and knead very gently on a lightly floured board just until the dough is smooth. Do not over work or the dough will be tough.
  3. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Press each ball into a disk, about 4 inches in diameter. Dust lightly with flour if the dough is sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for and hour or longer at room temperature.
  4. Sprinkle a small amount of unbleached flour over your work surface. Put the piece of dough on it, and lightly dust the top with more flour. Roll the dough from the center to the far edge, in one direction only, turning the dough, until it is quite thin, with a diameter of at least 12 inches. Keep dusting lightly with flour if the dough sticks.
  5. Spray a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom with olive oil. Gently fold the circle of dough in half and lift onto the pan, with the fold in the middle of the pan. Unfold the dough so that it covers the pan. Press gently into the pan. Using the rolling pin, roll over the tart pan to trim the edges. Save the trimmings to roll once again to make another 3 inch tart.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack in the preheated oven for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool before adding the filling.
5 large leaves of organic Swiss chard, with stems
6 oz button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms, cut into ¼ inch slices
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Pinch of kosher salt
1 1/3 cups grated cheese [half sharp aged cheddar and half mozzarella]

1. Separate the leaves from the stems and chop the leaves into thin strips. Chop the stems into ¼ inch slices. 
2. Heat a large non-stick heavy bottomed skillet with olive oil and add the sliced onions and garlic. Cook over medium high heat for 4 to 5 minutes till the onions and garlic have softened and caramelized a bit. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook till they have softened, for another 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the Swiss chard stems and cook for another couple of minutes. Finally add the leaves and a pinch of salt (the cheese is pretty salty – hence the pinch of salt) and continue to cook for a final 4 to 5 minutes till the leaves have completely wilted. Set aside to cool.
3. Fill the cooled tart shell with the Swiss chard and mushroom filling and top it off with the grated cheddar and grated mozzarella. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes in the middle rack till the tart is completely cooked and the cheese is golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack.
4. Remove from the tart pan and serve cut into wedges with a fresh green salad.

Serves 4 as a first course or 2 as a main course

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