Swiss Chard Tart with Goats Cheese Currants & Pine Nuts

Swiss CHard Tart with Goats Cheese

The other day some one asked me what my favourite recipes were – amongst my list of about 20 was the Hazelnut & Brown Butter Cake, created by Suzanne Goin. It prompted me to open up her book, Sunday Suppers at Luques, to find something else to treat my taste buds with. Because if there is anyone who is going to do that well, it is most certainly her.

Suzanne has this knack with food and flavours, there is not one thing from her reportoire I have made that is not an incredible taste sensation. And staying true to this claim of mine, is this delightful tart – so full of flavours and textures that you literally savour every mouthful.

The simple mix of swiss chard and goats cheese provide a subtly flavoured base for the rich currant and pine nut relish which has been adapted from a popular Sicilian side dish. It is a tart that would be perfect for a picnic, a brunch, lunch – even a light supper. Now, I am going to leave you with all of this to ponder – and go to relish in this delicious relish!!

1 frozen sheet of all butter puff pastry (8 x 12 inches or equivalent)
2 extra large egg yolks
1 large bunch Swiss Chard, cleaned, centre ribs removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sliced spring onions (scallions)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 cup whole milk fresh ricotta, drained if wet
1/4 cup creme fraiche
6 ounces semi aged goats cheese

Currant & Pine Nut Relish
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sprig  rosemary
1 chile de arbol
3/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/3 cup dried currants
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
sea salt and pepper

Pre heat your oven to 200c/400f.

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 brusg it along the border (you will not need all of it). Chill the puff pastry in the freezer until ready to use.

Tear the chard into large pieces. Heat a large frying pan over high heat for two minutes, add two tablespoons of the olive oil, the shallots and the thyme. Saute for a few minutes and add half the swiss chard. Cook for a minute of two, tossing the greens in the oil to help them wilt. Add the second half of the greens and season with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently until then greens are tender.

Spread the greens on a baking sheet (in the fridge is great) – when they have cooled, squeeze the water out with your hands.

Place the ricotta, remaining egg yolk and remaining teaspoon of olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth and remove to a mixing bowl. Gently fold in the creme fraiche and season with a healthy pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spread the ricotta mixture on the puff pastry inside the scored border. Crumble half the goats cheese over the ricotta, arrange the greens on top and sprinkle the remaining goats cheese over the top. If you are not ready to bake, vover the tart with plastic and refrigerate.

Bake the tart for 20 – 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden. Check underneath the tart to make sure the base is cooked through.

Cool for a few minutes and transfer the tart to a cutting board. Spoon some of the currant -pine nut relish over the tart and serve it on the cutting board at the table. Pass the remaining relish in a bowl for anyone who would like a little more.

Currant & Pine Nut Relish
Pre heat your oven to 190c/375f.

Toast the pine nuts for about 8 minutes, stirring once or twice until they are golden brown and smell nutty.

Heat a small saute pan over a high heat for two minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and add the olive oil, rosemary and chile. When the rosemary and chile start to sizzle, add the onion and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat down to low and let the onions stew slowly for about 10 minutes until tender. Transfer to a bowl to cool and discard the rosemary sprig and chili.

While the onion is cooking, place the currants in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let the currants soak for 10 minutes and drain well.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan the onions were in, and reduce it over a medium high heat to a scant tablespoon – stir into the onion mixture.

Add the toasted pine nuts, currants and parsley to the onion mixture and stor to combine. Taste for balance and season.

Notes: You can substiture semi aged goats cheese for fresh – although the pungent flavour from the semi aged adds more balance. You can also make this using mustard greens instead of swiss chard.

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