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Easy Olive Oil Tart Crust Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes enough to line a 28- to 30-cm (11- to 12-inch) tart pan.
 250 grams (8.8 ounces, see note) light whole wheat flour (French T80), or a 50/50 mix of
all-purpose and whole wheat
 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
 1 teaspoon dried herbs (I use rosemary or thyme)
 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil (or the oil of your choosing, provided it withstands cooking)
 120 ml (1/2 cup) cold water

1. Grease the pan lightly if it doesn't have a nonstick coating.

2. Combine the flour, salt, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl, and add the oil and water.

3. Mix with a fork until just combined.

4. Transfer to a work surface and knead lightly until the dough comes together into a ball.
5. Sprinkle a little flour on the ball of dough and on the rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a
circle large enough to fit your tart pan. Turn the dough by 45 degrees (a quarter of a circle)
every time you roll the pin and back, adding a little more flour underneath and on the dough
when it seems on the verge of becoming sticky. The trick is to do this in quick, assertive
gestures (channel the spirit of Julia Child) to avoid overworking the dough.
6. Transfer the dough carefully into the prepared pan and line it neatly. Trim the excess dough
with a knife (re-roll it and make these crackers), and place the pan in the fridge for 30
minutes to rest.
7. To blind-bake, prick all over with a fork.
8. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F), insert the pan, and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly
9. You can then fill the tart shell and bake the tart again for another 20 to 40 minutes,
depending on the filling.

8.8 ounces flour is about 2 cups, but really, measuring flour by weight is the only way to
ensure accuracy. Consider buying a digital kitchen scale: it will prove an invaluable tool, and
the simplest models are not super expensive.

Swiss Chard and Squash Seeds Tart

[Swiss Chard and Squash Seeds Tart]

Had you been in my kitchen last week, you would have heard a small squeal of joy. That would
have been me, unloading the contents of my weekly Campanier basket of fruits and vegetables, and
discovering a lush bunch of swiss chard.

The next day found me picking up a couple of ingredients from the grocery store, then getting on to
make this Swiss Chard Tart. I have recently bought a bag of squash seeds and a bottle of squash
seed oil that I seem to throw into everything I make these days, and it turned out to be an excellent
mix of flavors. In passing, squash seed oil is apparently excellent for your prostate, should you be in
possession of one.

This tart is second cousin to a swiss chard pie I had made back in October of last year, which
included raisins and pinenuts. This time, I decided to purée the cooked chard mixture before
putting it in the pie shell. I like it both ways in terms of texture, but this second method makes for a
much nicer appearance.

Tarte aux Blettes et Graines de Courge

– a bunch of swiss chard, white and green (about ten leaves)

– 1 tsp squash seed oil (substitute olive oil)
– two heaping tablespoons of ricotta
– 1 egg
– one roll of pie dough (I use store-bought, but home-made would be great)
– a handful of squash seeds
– salt, pepper
– 1/4 C caramelized shallots

Rinse the swiss chard under cold water. Separate the white stems from the green leaves.
Chop the stems, discarding the ends. Cut the greens in pieces.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the chopped stems, season with salt and pepper, and
cook, covered, over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender slightly translucent.
Add the leaves to the skillet, and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes, until the greens are
wilted. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning.

In the meantime, toast the squash seeds in a small dry skillet, and preheat the oven to
220°F (430°F).

Transfer the cooked chard into a food processor, add in the egg and the ricotta,
and pulse until thoroughly mixed.

Line a tart pan with the pie dough. Spread the caramelized shallots on the bottom of the
dough, and sprinkle with half of the toasted squash seeds. Pour in the chard mixture, even
out the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle with the rest of the squash seeds.

Put in the oven to bake for about 40 minutes, until the filling is somewhat set and the pie
crust starts to turn golden. Serve with a salad, dressed with balsamic vinegar and squash
seed oil.

Swiss Chard Pie Recipe

Spinach is one of the rare vegetables I will not eat. Possibly, this has to do with the green puke they
were trying to pass off as spinach at summer camp. I did try real supposedly yummy fresh spinach,
but could not take it. Bleh. The only form I can eat it in, is when it doesn’t taste like spinach at all, in
spinach ravioli for instance.

Now, people tell me swiss chard tastes very much like spinach, so my taste buds must be a bit
weird, as I seem to love swiss chard about as much as I loathe its cousin. I had been craving swiss
chard pie all summer, so last week-end, when I saw big bunches of it at the produce store, I got one.
It was so huge I had to cut it in two so it would fit in the fridge. But that was very easily done with my
new extra-sharp chef knife. Heh.

As much as I am particular about home-made pie dough for desserts, I always use store-
bought flaky (pâte feuilletée) or regular dough (pâte brisée) for the savory pies and tarts I
make. Grocery stores in France carry perfectly acceptable ones. This time I had gotten thin
pizza dough (less fat apparently), to see how it would turn out.

Premade pie dough is sold rolled out onto parchment paper then rolled up into a cylinder,
making it easy as pie (haha) to just unroll it onto your pie dish, saving you the laying out of
parchment paper in the bargain. But as I unrolled this pizza dough, I realized it was really
very small in diameter. I needed it to be quite larger than my dish to have extra dough to
fold over the filling, so I tried to massage it to the desired size by pulling at the edges with
my hands. But I must not have done this gently enough (or just bad karma?), because the
dough ripped and was just a mess. I thought what-the-heck-I’ll-just-start-over, turned it into
a ball and tried to roll it out using a rolling pin. When that obviously didn’t work – the dough
being way too elastic – I just dumped it in the trash (I should have saved it and used it for
something else but didn’t, as a measure of punishment), ran to the store, luckily just a block
away, got another one, skipped the line thanks to a nice customer who saw I only had one
item, and hurried home. This time I handled the dough with way more care, and laid it out in
a deep pie pan, with “flaps” of dough hanging outside.

I then prepared the swiss chard. I washed it, then separated the leaves from the stems. In a
large pot, I heated up olive oil and two cloves of crushed garlic – very flavorful pink garlic
from Lautrec (our friend Ludo – a cooking enthusiast as well – brought us back a 1kg bunch
from a recent trip). When the oil was nice and hot, I added the cut-up stems, salt and
pepper, and sauteed them for a few minutes. I then added the leaves, torn in smaller
pieces, and left all that to cook over medium heat, for a few more minutes.

Meanwhile, I made a cup of tea and let a handful of raisins soak in it, toasted a handful of
pinenuts in a dry skillet and put the oven on to preheat at 220°C.

When the chard was ready, I drained it in a colander, then put it in a medium bowl, adding
in half a cup of ricotta, the drained raisins and the pine nuts. This was poured into the
prepared pie pan, and the edges of the dough were folded back to cover some of the filling.
Ideally, the crust should be brushed with a beaten egg yolk or melted butter, but I skipped
this part.

I put the pie in to bake for about 35 minutes, until the crust was nice and golden. At that
point I realized that the filling was still a bit too wet. I should have drained the chard more
thoroughly. But it seemed ready otherwise, so I took it out and sort of mopped the extra
liquid with a paper towel, then left it on the counter for a few minutes before serving.

I like this recipe very much. The sweetness of the raisins and ricotta balanced the otherwise
sharp taste of the chard, and the pinenuts offered a nice textural change. The amount of
filling made for a very satisfyingly thick pie, and the pizza dough was nice and crunchy, but
thin enough not to occupy the center of the stage. Leftovers reheated very well in the oven
the next day…