This Swiss chard, goat cheese, and leek tart is a stunning juxtaposition of chard and leeks nestled in an herbed pastry crust and studded with goat cheese, pine nuts, and raisins. An elegant vegetarian brunch or appetizer.
A few notes when preparing Swiss chard: Like spinach, chard contains a lot of grit. Take care to wash the leaves thoroughly in several changes of water. If you want to use both stems and leaves, cut the stems into 1/2-inch pieces and simmer them in homemade chicken stock for 10 minutes or until crisp-tender, then cook them with the leeks. If you use red or rainbow chard, the color may bleed and stain the leeks, so if this bothers you, opt for chard with white stalks.–David Leite
Swiss Chard, Leek, and Goat Cheese Tart
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 2 H, 45 M
- Serves 6 to 8
- For the pastry
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1 tablespoon minced rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (6 oz), cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- For the filling
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 pound leeks (about 3), white and pale green parts only, rinsed of grit and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 1 pound Swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves washed and roughly chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons golden raisins, plumped in boiling water for 10 minutes
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 6 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- Make the pastry
- 1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, rosemary, thyme, and salt until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, with pieces no bigger than small peas, about 13 to 15 one-second pulses.
- 2. Add the mixture to a bowl and drizzle with 4 tablespoons of water. Thoroughly mix with a fork to form a “shaggy” dough. Squeeze some in your hand. If it doesn’t hold together, add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- 3. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- 4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
- 5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 13-inch circle. Ease it into a 10- or 11-inch tart pan, fitting it snugly against the sides and bottom, and trim the excess. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork and cover with parchment paper.
- 6. Fill the tart with pie weights or beans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment and let the tart crust cool.
- Make the filling
- 7. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the leeks, covered, until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Uncover, add the chard leaves and allow them to cook down and the excess water to evaporate, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- 8. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the vegetable mixture and toss to coat.
- 9. Pour the mixture into the baked tart shell, scatter with the raisins and pine nuts, and dot with the goat cheese. Bake until the filling is set and puffy, about 25 minutes.
- Serve the tart
- 10. Let the tart cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Slice and serve. Originally published March 1. 2005.
Recipe Testers Reviews
What a lovely tart! The combination of flavors and textures makes this a real winner. The cheese brings some acidity, the pine nuts add a richness and balance the sweetness of the raisins and leeks, while the chard bulks the tart up and adds a fresh veggie component. Just delicious.
I used 4 slender leeks, 1 large bunch of rainbow chard, and a very creamy goat cheese. The crust came together in a minute and was easy to work with. I didn't have a 10-inch tart pan, so I used a similar-sized Pyrex plate instead. The timing and the filling amount were just right.
I served it at brunch with a nice side salad and some breakfast sausages on the side. It would easily serve 6 to 8, and you will still have a slice or two left over for lunch the next day. You could serve it warm at brunch, room temperature in small squares for an appetizer, or pack a slice for lunch at your desk.
This tart is delicious. The pastry is crisp and crumbly and the addition of herbs making it a real winner for taste and aroma. The filling is rich but light with the addition of golden raisins adding just the right amount of sweetness contrasting perfectly with the goats cheese. It's also ridiculously easy to make.
After 30 minutes of baking, the edges of the pastry were deep golden and the middle was still a little translucent but firm to the touch. It was easy to handle and roll out. I'll be using this pastry recipe for my other tarts. It was a dream.
It's great served with a green salad and a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. For us it made 4 generous portions as a main with salad. You could get 8 out of it for a buffet or as snacks.
This Swiss chard, leek, and goat cheese tart was impressive. Let’s start with the dough. The addition of the fresh herbs in the dough, as opposed to mixing them with the filling, was genius. By isolating the herbs in the buttery dough, they were able to stand on their own—you knew they were there and they added a fresh, clean note to their co-ingredients.
I was happy that we used leeks instead of onions. The more mellow form of acidity was necessary to not take over the other flavors in the dish. I was concerned that cooking the chard for only 6 minutes would result in tough chard, but I was wrong. The filling mixture was a jammy amalgam of flavors and textures. The raisins, pine nuts, and goat cheese on top put this recipe over the top.
When sampling this dish, the flavor truly evolves in your mouth. Just when you’re thinking it needs something, you get it. Just when you taste too much of something, something else comes to the rescue and balances everything out. This dish was fairly easy to prepare, not too messy, contained exciting yet accessible ingredients, and the end result was beautiful and delightful to taste.
I forgot to plump the raisins in boiling water. I don’t think it affected the flavor or texture.
The baking time was accurate. I used a 10-inch tart pan. The edges of the tart were done, the center puffed, and the goat cheese browned at the edges. Beautiful!
I’m assuming this is a side dish or appetizer.