It’s fall! Thank goodness. I know it’s been fall for several weeks, but I’m still basking in the glory of it. The autumn temps, the autumn colors, the autumn foods. I love autumn.
Now, I’m slightly obsessed with leeks…and slightly more obsessed with swiss chard. So, when I came across this recipe at smitten kitchen, I knew I had to make a go of it! Plus, I’ve been down with a cold for almost a week, I needed comfort!
This is a pretty darn simple puppy to whip together. And, thanks to a fortunate combination of recipes that I bought ingredients for, but never made – I had everything I needed! Yay!
First off, I took a frozen pie shell, thawed it out, then forced it to mold to my tart shell. This was slightly complicated because it fell apart. So I got out my rolling-pin and fixed it. Which is when I realized it might have been simpler to just make my own pastry/tart shell. So, do as you wish! I then popped that sucker in the fridge to chill out.
Then, I got to work on my tasty sweet leeks! I chopped the white and light green parts into ringlets and rinsed them all off. You have to do a pretty thorough rinsing with both my veggies here as they love to hang on to dirt! No one likes grit in their food. No one.
Now comes the butter. I plopped a couple of tablespoons of it onto my large frying pan and sautéed the leeks on low for about 10 minutes (covered), or until they’re soft. Try your bestest not to brown them. I think I browned a few. Oops
Then, after rinsing and chopping the swiss chard, I added that to the pan and cooked the leeks and chard for about two more minutes, or until the chard was wilty. Once the chard wilted, I took the pan off the heat and started on the filling. Well, no, I lied. Before I started on the filling I preheated the oven!
This is your brain on drugs. Ha! More like on delicious! Is delicious a drug? I can’t say for sure, but I’m thinking delicious could be even better. I mixed up all my filling ingredients together in a bowl. It was pretty complicated.
So, yeah, I added cheese. Sharp delicious cheddar cheese. Does that make this a quiche? What’s the difference between a tart and a quiche? Is there one? Does it matter? I mean, they’re both delicious and savory and ….ok back to reality. This is whatever you want to call it. Call it magic pie for all I care, just call it something and eat it.
I got sidetracked. I poured the filling on top of the cheese and smoothed it out. Gosh, it looked so good. Then, I put it in the oven.
Then, I waited. The kitchen already smelled glorious from the sautéed vegetables. Sigh. Speaking of waiting, this doesn’t take as long as a quiche to cook. I’ll really have to look into this.
Once this piece of heaven was done cooking and cooled – I ate some. And all was right in the world.
Swiss Chard & Leek Tart
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
– 1 frozen pie crust, thawed (or whatever you’d like to substitute)
– 2 Tbsp Butter
– 3 large leeks, chopped (just the white and pale green parts!)
– 1 tsp dried thyme
– 2.5 cups chopped swiss chard (stems removed) – this came out to about 3 “branches” for me
– 1 cup whipping cream
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– 3 large eggs
– 2 large egg yolks
– 1/2 tsp salt
– fresh pepper
– pinch of nutmeg
– 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
Mold your choice of pie or pastry dough to a tart pan and put in the fridge to cool.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan, covered, for 10 minutes or so. Do this on fairly low heat and make sure you stir often, you aren’t looking for brown leeks, just soft ones! Once the leeks are soft, add the swiss chard and saute for a couple of minutes, or until the chard has wilted. Remove from the heat.
Pre-heat the oven to 425°.
In a large bowl whisk together the rest of your ingredients EXCEPT THE CHEESE. Then, mix in your veggies. Take the pie crust out of the fridge and spread the cheese out on the bottom of it. Pour your filling over top of this and smooth it out.
Pop the tart into the oven and set the timer to 15 minutes. Go watch some Modern Family (or whatever). When the timer goes off, rush to the oven, turn it down to 350° and watch another 10 minutes of Modern Family. Or, listen to NPR. Your choice! After 10 minutes, check to see if the quiche has set, there shouldn’t be much jiggle to it. Bake it longer, if need be.
If need not be, take it out and let it cool on a rack (or your gas stove) for 10 minutes.
Then, enjoy. Enjoy it so much. So very much.
Do you have an autumn comfort food?