This Swiss Chard tart with Chevre and Leeks is a must make if you are looking for a fancy vegetarian entree for the holidays. It is filled with a ton of swiss chard, fresh crumbled goat cheese, golden raisins in a crispy crumbly almond tart shell. It is so hearty and festive perfect for special occasions.
This post was originally shared on December 16th, 2011, I have updated the images and text.
I have to admit tarts are intimidating. And a savory tart… now that’s just pure sorcery. Or so I thought. I kick myself for waiting so long before I tried to make one for the first time. Boy was I surprised to find out tarts are actually easier to make than pie. The reason being, the pan does all the work for you. Unlike pie dough, you don’t have to roll out the crust. You just press it down into the pan, and bake it. When the sides come off, you have pretty fluted edges, that make it look all fancy.
One of the tricks to making a tender tart dough is making sure it is short. That’s the pastry chef word for dough which is high in fat, low in moisture. Short dough gets its name because, on a molecular level, the length of the strands of gluten is short. That’s cuz they can’t form when there is a relatively high amount of fat and not much moisture. That’s how you get a really nice cookie-like texture.
For this crust, I didn’t want to use any butter to get that shortening effect. So I busted out my food processor. I ground up almonds, which are naturally high in healthy fat, added the flours and then drizzled in avocado oil. The results are cookie-tender.
Then for the custard, instead of using cream I made almond milk in the blender with blanched almonds and water. To that I added some eggs and a little chevre (which is Swiss chard’s BFF, if you didn’t know.) The rest is equally as simple: just cook down the chard and leeks and you are ready to assemble and bake. Easy as pie, or easier.
What are you serving over the holidays?
Do you think making tart or pie is easy?
Did you know the term shortening or short bread had to do with the length of the gluten strands?
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Happy Holidays my friends!
This Swiss Chard Tart with Chevre and Leeks is a festive vegetarian entree perfect for entertaining and special occasions.
- ¾ cup blanched almonds
- 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup avocado oil or organic canola oil
- 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small bunches Swiss chard stems and chopped and separated
- 2 leeks halved, sliced and cleaned
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- Generous pinch nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds for garnish
- ½ cup blanched almonds
- ½ cup water
- 2 eggs
- 3 ounces fresh goat cheese chevre
- Make Almond Crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray.
- Process ¾ cup almonds in food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment until the consistency of coarse meal. Add whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Drizzle canola oil into the feed tube with the motor running until crumbly, pulse until evenly moistened, crumbly and clumpy. Remove lid, drizzle on 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse until it comes together as crumbly dough. Add 2 more tablespoons of water if necessary to achieve clumps when squeezed. Transfer dough to the tart pan. Form dough into a crust by pressing evenly over the bottom and up sides of the pan with your fingers. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is set-up like a shortbread cookie, and slightly golden, 22 to 25 minutes.
- Make Filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Swiss chard stems and leeks and cook, stirring often until the leeks are softened and starting to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg. Add chopped Swiss chard leaves, 1 handful at a time, cooking and stirring to wilt, until all of the chard leaves are added. Add the 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook until the stems are tender, and the Chard leaves are completely cooked down, about 5 minutes. Add more water as necessary to prevent scorching. If the mixture is too moist, remove lid and allow to evaporate for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in raisins.
- Make custard: Puree ½ cup almonds and ½ cup water in a blender until the almonds are smooth, scraping down sides as necessary, 40 seconds to 1 minute. Add eggs and fresh goat cheese and puree until smooth.
- Finish tart: Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Spread the Swiss Chard Filling out over the Almond Crust. Pour the Chevre Custard over the filling and garnish with the 2 tablespoons sliced almonds. Bake the tart on the baking sheet until the filling is set up, and ever so slightly golden and puffed, 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before removing tart pan sides.
Here are the images from the old post in 2011