Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Tart with Currant-Pine Nut Relish

Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
Serves  6
Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Tart  with Currents & Pine Nuts
For the tart:
2 large egg yolks, divided
1 large bunch Swiss chard
2 Tbl plus 1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
6 oz goat cheese, crumbled
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the current-pine nut relish:
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 sprig rosemary
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/3 cup dried currants
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl chopped flat-leaf parsley
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Prep the tart: Allow the puff pastry to defrost in the refrigerator, for about 2 hours or so, until it can be unfolded easily without ripping. Unroll onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Score a 1/4-inch border with a paring knife along the edge of the pastry. Make an egg wash by mixing one yolk with 1/2 tsp water.  Brush this egg wash along the border, only using as much as you need. Place in the freezer until you are ready to use.
Thoroughly wash the Swiss chard in cool water, then drain and dry.  Remove the tough stems from the bottom half or two-thirds of each leaf.  Tear the leaves into large pieces.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, for about 2 minutes.  Add 2 Tbl olive oil to the pan, then add the shallots and thyme.  Reduce the heat to medium and sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add half the Swiss chard and cook for another two minutes, tossing the greens to coat them with the oil.  When the first half of the greens wilt down a bit, add the rest of the greens.  Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for another few minutes, stirring frequently, until the greens are tender. 
Sauteeing Swiss Chard
Remove from the heat, and spread the greens on a baking sheet to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, squeeze with your hands to remove excess water.  Set aside the greens.

Combine the ricotta, the sour cream, the remaining egg yolk, the remaining 1 Tbl olive oil, a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Mix with a rubber spatula to combine thoroughly. Spread over the prepared puff pastry, keeping within the lines of the scored border. Crumble half of the goat cheese over the ricotta.  Arrange the greens evenly over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining goat cheese crumbles.  At this point, the tart can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to serve. It can even be made a day ahead. (Always good when it comes to having dinner parties!)

Make the relish:  Preheat the oven to 375°F, then toast the pine nuts on a baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Heat a small sauté pan over high heat for about 2 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium and add the olive oil, rosemary and chile flakes.  Cook for about 1 minute, then turn the heat down to medium-low and add the diced onion.  Season with a good pinch of salt.  Gently cook the onions for about 5 minutes, until tender and translucent.  Add the balsamic vinegar and cook about 5 minutes more.  Discard the rosemary and transfer the onions to a small mixing bowl.

Sizzling Rosemary

While the onions cook, place the currants in a small bowl and cover with very hot water.  Let soak 10-15 minutes, then drain well.

Add the currants, toasted pine nuts and parsley to the onion mixture in the mixing bowl.  Stir to combine.  Taste, then season as needed with salt & pepper.

Finish the tart: Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown (both on the outside border and underneath – Lift it up a bit to peer beneath and make sure the bottom of the tart is thoroughly cooked too). 

Allow the tart to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a cutting board.  Slice the tart.  Sprinkle evenly with currant-pine nut relish.  Serve right on the cutting board.