Thursday, April 14, 2011

leek, fennel, and swiss chard tart with goat cheese

I get this feeling sometimes, like when I've been at summer camp for a few weeks already and it's time to go home soon, or during a really nice week where the weather is warm, and friends are here, and I'm whisked away from work for an evening drink and then dinner and then dancing, every day. A consciousness of breathing life into each moment. A little whisper: stop cleaning your room. Your suitcase doesn't have to be packed so perfectly. Don't bother washing the dishes right now. Stop it and just live.

Yes. Yes, I think I will. Things are moving so fast around here that it's easier than holding on, anyway.

So I offer this spring tart, in the hopes that it makes you feel as perfectly Parisian as it did me. Meanwhile, I've got some life to go live.

Leek, Fennel, and Swiss Chard Tart
Serves 6-8

Try this luscious tart for a late-spring lunch or a light dinner, alongside a green salad, or with some fruit and cheese, maybe charcuterie. And, to complete your repas élégant: a glass of wine, even at lunch. Especially at lunch.

1 pie crust, homemade or not
2 tablespoons butter
1 large leek, chopped into half-moons (white and light green parts only)
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced thinly
Three large handfuls of de-stemmed and chopped swiss chard
Good quality sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs
½ cup cream
Several teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
Several tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

1. Heat the oven to 425; Roll out the pie crust to fit a 9-inch glass pie dish.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the leek and saute for a couple of minutes, until the leek has wilted. Add the sliced fennel and a generous pinch of salt, and cook until soft, 8-10 minutes.

3. Add the swiss chard and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the chard has wilted. Pour this mixture into the pie crust, and spread it into an even layer.

4. In a bowl, whisk eggs until scrambled; then whisk in cream, oregano, and a few grinds of black pepper. Pour this mixture into the pie crust on top of the vegetables.

5. Pop it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until the filling has set and is puffed in the middle.

6. A few minutes before removing the tart from the oven, sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over the top. Let the tart sit 10 minutes before serving.


  1. This sounds amazing. I am on a major goat cheese kick of late and am also obsessed with leeks, so I'm definitely going to have to try this. YUM!

  2. I noticed! I should have guessed this would be right up your alley!

  3. Your philosophy on this one gave me a good laugh. Just take me on that vacation and I'll be a happy camper. Recipe good, too.
    G Tep