May 12, 2008
Chard is one of those vegetables. You know the ones-if they were people, they’d be the teenagers off in a corner of the school yard by themselves, smoking cigarettes with a glare and acting like they don’t care. In the vegetable world, they’re one of those things that you look at, knowing that it’s probably really good, but you just don’t know what to do with it.
Tarta, on the other hand, is president of the glee club-valedictorian, maybe even prom queen, never wears the same thing twice, and the type of person you’d really love to hate-if she weren’t so gosh-darn nice! No, tarta is easy to make, fast, and can be filled with just about any filling you care to use-basically your all-around goody two shoes.
I’ve posted about tarta before, it is a simple, quick meal that’s high on flavor and low on effort. Tarta describes a savory pie: some kind of filling between two pie-crust-type shells, and sealed using the twisted pattern called repulgue in Argentina. (The video on my empanada post teaches you how to do it.)
Unless you grew up eating chard, or make an effort to find a recipe that uses it, you may forever be wondering what to do with the big dark leaves that find their way to markets in mid-summer and early fall. (Chard grows easily and abundantly-it may grow out of control if allowed. But see how tame it looks all wrapped up in a flaky crust?)
Receta para Tarta de Acelga
Recipe for Swiss Chard Tart
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs, hardboiled then peeled and sliced
2 large bunches of Swiss chard (white stems preferred if available)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or queso cremoso
2 pie crust rounds-either your recipe for pie crust OR Pillsbury (or similar) pre-made Pie Crusts (or tapa para tarta)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and saute the onions until translucent. Wash the chard very well (grit is common!) Remove the hard stems of the chard, and chop coarsely. Add the chard to the onions with a couple tablespoons of water and a little salt, and cover, steaming until wilted. Add the pepper and cheese and mix well. Heat through until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Drain off any liquid.
Put 1 pie crust onto a round (pizza) pan. Put chard mixture onto the center of the pie crust. Arrange slices of egg on top of chard mixture. Cover with second pie crust round and seal the edge all the way around by twisting the dough, so that none of the filling seeps out during baking.
Bake until crust is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Cut into wedges. It can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature.