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Milena’s Sweet Swiss Chard Tart

Milena’s Sweet Swiss Chard Tart

 Regular readers of this blog know that I’m part of a group of women who meet once a week to chit-chat in Italian. The meeting takes place at a different home each week and while we converse in Italian about anything and everything – we also eat. And every one of the women is a good cook, so we look forward to our gatherings for several reasons.

 I’m not able to attend each week, but when the group meets at Milena’s house, I’m really  loathe to miss it.
Milena, who hails from the region of Liguria, is one of the best cooks in the group, and not surprisingly, taught cooking classes for a while. Whenever the group meets at her house, she makes an array of different dishes to tempt us, some tried and true, and some new ones too.
This tart is one of the offerings (among many) that she served recently at her home. The recipe contains a bit of sugar, so you could serve it as dessert, but it’s not overly sweet, so if you’re yearning for a more traditional dessert, better stick to chocolate cake.
In that case, it would be equally delicious served with a glass of wine as an appetizer too.
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Sweet Swiss Chard Tart
3 cups flour (minus three Tablespoons) or 300 grams flour
1/2 cup butter or 125 grams butter
about two bunches of Swiss chard without the stems, or 500 grams Swiss chard
3/4 cup sugar or 150 grams sugar
1/3 cup pine nuts or 50 grams pine nuts
1/4 cup or 30 grams white raisins
2 eggs, separated
salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon, to taste
On a wooden board (or a bowl), make a well with the flour and add 3/4 of the butter (cut into small pieces), half the sugar, a pinch of salt and the egg yolks.
Incorporate all the ingredients until you have a soft and smooth dough. Cover it with a dishtowel and let it rest for two hours in a warm place.
Put the raisins in a bowl with some tepid water and let them soak in the water for at least 15 minutes.
Wash the Swiss chard, removing the stems, and place it in a covered pot with only the water that remains on the leaves. Let it cook on low heat until softened. Remove from the pot, squeeze out any remaining water, then give the swiss chard a rough chop. Add the remaining butter to a saucepan, put the Swiss chard back in, and stir, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Put the chopped Swiss chard in a bowl and mix with the remaining sugar, pine nuts, raisins (that have been drained), a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon.
Divide the dough in half and roll out each half to fit a 9″ pie pan that has been buttered and floured. Place one piece of the dough into the pie pan, cover it with the Swiss chard mixture, then place the other piece of dough on the top, closing the borders with a pinch.
Beat a little of the egg white and brush over the top of the  tart. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.
This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. Frankly I could see me having that for breakfast — or for lunch — or as an appetizer, etc. Looks scrumptious and I certainly wish we lived in an area so there could be some Italian speaking on my part. On our way to Lake Lugano (on Italy's side) we passed Lake Como and I swore that I'd return to spend time there. I am looking forward to hearing all about your trip and seeing the pictures. Buona Giornata!

  2. Yes! These sorts of tortes were all over Genova and Liguria when we were there over Easter. Artichokes are another popular filling over there. I love how greens are so prominent in the cooking of Liguria. Many recipes call for greens known as "preboggion." I had a tough time translating it. But Fred Plotkin, in his book Recipes From Paradise, says it's actually a mix of greens that includes sorrel, borage, wild chicory, chervil, lovage, dandelion, and more. Ligurian cuisine is so intriguing. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  3. Kind of sweet and savory! I love Swiss chard and will be looking to do this. (I have replaced kale with Swiss chard all year.) Envy you your group. But of course the only Italian I speak is food! What could I say?

  4. Now this dish is right up my alley! Sounds a lot like the Neapolitan pizza di scarola, actually, Fascinating to see how the same basic dish gets transformed in different regions.

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