Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Tart Dinner

So I go through phases with my recipes - I find one source and use it for a long time until I move on to a new one. This spring when I was obsessed with grilling, I used Bobby Flay recipes almost exclusively. Now that it is hotter and I dont want to grill always, I have moved one. My new source is a blog I enjoy called Culinary in the Desert. My dinner inspiration again came from that blog.

Tonight was a "veggie" night. I try to have two per week. Anytime I announce that tonight is the night, I get disappointed looks and eye rolling - until dinnertime when Bo tries the food. Suddenly veggie night isnt so bad! Tonight was no exception. We had (loosely) Chard and Feta Tart. Loosely because I used the recipe as a suggestion, but made several changes.

First, I had spinach that needed to be used up, so instead of buying chard, I used what I had. I also had grape tomatoes so I added those too. I doubled the lemon zest - and was glad that I did! The zest really pulled the rest of the flavors together!! I subbed cottage cheese for the ricotta, and since I dont (yet) own a tart pan, I used a deep pie plate. If cottage cheese is used again, it will do better if I drain it.

Sauteed mushrooms were our side dish, again, something in the fridge that needed to be used.

I diced two garlic cloves and sauteed in a touch of olive oil. Added to that were baby bella 'shrooms I had sliced in half. Red wine to the pan helped to keep things moist while they slowly cooked, then a few snipped chives from my garden rounded off the end of the dish.

So how did Bo like this meal? First thing he said was "this is too fancy to be eaten in front of the tv (tennis was on)". Then I got the vigerous head nod and smile which let me know this can be a repeater!!!

We are leaving for Indiana this afternoon, so no cooking or blogging until Sunday when we return. Have a great July 4th!!!

Chard and Feta Tart (Adapted from Eating Well and Culinary in the Desert)
***NOTE*** My changes are in ()

For the crust
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 Tbs cold water

For the filling
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups chopped chard, leaves and stems separated (I used 4 cups fresh spinach plus 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced vertically)
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs water
2 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese **will do better if drained well)
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest (I used 2 t)
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (I didnt have so I left out)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. To make the crust

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in
oil and water - stir the wet ingredients into the dry until a soft dough
forms. Scoop the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a
couple of times just until the dough comes together. Wrap in saran wrap and
place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400.

4. Remove the dough and roll to a 12" circle on a lightly floured surface.
Carefully move the dough to a 9" removable bottom tart pan coated with
nonstick spray. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides -
trim off any overhanging dough. Use a fork to prick the bottom and sides in
a few places. Place in the oven and bake until lightly browned, about 20 to
22 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

5. To make the filling

6. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chard stems - cook,
until just tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic - cook until fragrant,
about 30 seconds. Add chard leaves and 2 tablespoons water - cook, stirring,
until the leaves are just tender and the water has evaporated, 2 to 5
minutes. Scoop the mixture into a sieve set on top of a bowl and set aside
to drain and cool for 5 minutes.

7. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta, lemon zest 1/8 teaspoon
pepper. Add the chard mixture, olives and feta - fold together until
combined. Scoop the mixture into the cooled crust and smooth over the top.
Bake until the top is lightly browned and the center is set, about 30 to 35
minutes. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


  1. I don't mention dinner is vegetarian or vegan until after DBF finishes the meal and declares himelf satisfied. I think he's finally convinced not every meal has to contain meat.

  2. Bo does that too - AFTER the fact ;)