Chard Tarts/Pies

Joined Mar 3, 2002
Chard pie is my favorite way of preparing chard and I am looking for your help in finding the BEST chard tart. I am including my recipe for the EASIEST and fastest chard tart. (It doesn't require that the dough be refrigerated.) I make this when I am in a hurry; when I have more time I make a flaky crust instead of the oil crust as I prefer the texture.

But now I'm in search of the BEST.

Sweet Swiss Chard Torte (From Bistro, serves 8)
2 cups unbleached flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup EVO
1 lb Swiss chard leaves (reddish variety is not as sweet as the green, but either may be used - or substitute spinach)
2 eggs, gently beaten
1 cup raisins (I keep some soaked in rum at all times)
1 Tbs confectioners' sugar for decoration

1. Preheat to 400f

2. Prepare pastry: combine flour and salt in bowl, stir in ½ cup water; then the oil, mixing til thoroughly blended. Knead briefly. Divide in half; press each half into a flat disk.

3. Filling: wash and dry chard, discarding center white stem. Break up leaves and chop finely in processor. Combine eggs, raisins in a medium bowl; mix to blend thoroughly. Stir in chard and mix well.

4. Roll out 1 disk of pastry into a 10 ½" circle. Place on bottom of 10 ½" tart tin with removable bottom. Not necessary to build up sides of tart

5. Spoon chard mixture over dough. Roll out remaining disc. Place it on top of chard mixture, tucking ends of the dough down inside tart

6. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 minutes. Remove to rack to cool. Serve at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners sugar.

This could take addition of some pine nuts, and/or feta, or be mixed with ricotta, a bit of Parma ham.

Sorry my attribution isn't more specific, I think it is either Patricia Wells or Linda Dannenberg.
Joined Mar 3, 2002
Moromeg, these olive oil crust pies/tarts are common all over the Mediterranean world. I don't like the olive oil crust quite as much as the butter (or lard) flaky crust. But as olive oil is much healthier, I make them when I'm cooking for myself and save the butter for when I cook for others. And, they couldn't be easier: no cutting in, very forgiving if you don't have time to refrigerate.

I Googled quickly just now and came up with them from Spain to Greece. I include a couple I found just now. The first is a very ancient one for a chard/spinach pie; the second calls for the same ration of liquid : oil : flour (but calls for orange juice) as the one I posted. I think I may make this one the next time I cook for my DIL who LOVES olives. Another interesting one, also appetizer sized with cheese filling can be found at:

As for the chard filling. Generally the chard recipes say you can substitute spinach (and v/v). Many of them include a range of other ingredients such as ricotta, dried fruits, nuts, onions and savory herbs in all sorts of combos. Sometimes the chard is cooked before putting into the tart, sometimes not. It has a "greener taste" when not precooked, a sweeter taste when it is. I've made it including the stalks by sauting the stalks and onion to soften them & cooling before adding to the leaves, raisins, and egg. Also, I think a touch of salt in the filling is a good idea.

Swiss Chard and Spinach Pie (Source: The Heritage of French Cooking; Serves 6)
This is a recipe from the fourteenth century given in the Menagier de Paris. It began life as a middle-class dish cooked in pastry and liberally flavored with ginger. For centuries herb or spinach tourtes were a staple peasant dish. Retif de la Bretonne, a writer, journalist and chronicler of the second half of the eighteenth century, refers frequently to these tarts or pies, which were served at the family table on his father's farm. Dishes of this kind are still found today in the regions from Bourgogne to Haute Provence.

For Pastry:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 pinches salt

For Filling:
3 1/2 oz Swiss chard
3 1/2 oz spinach leaves
1 small onion
1 small leek, white part only
1/2 oz fresh dill
1/2 oz fresh chervil
1/2 oz fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

FOR PASTRY: Stir the flour onto your work surface. Make a well in the center, and add the oil, about 4 tablespoons water and the salt. Work the dough quickly until it forms a ball. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

FOR FILLING: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Combine the Swiss chard, spinach, onion, leek and herbs in the bowl of a food processor. Run it for 30 seconds - the herbs should not be too finely chopped. Add the ricotta, eggs, parmesan and salt and pepper and process for 10 seconds.

Divide the dough into 2 balls and roll them out separately. Butter a nonstick 9 1/2 inch pie pan and line it with half the dough. Pour in the herb mixture. Top with the remaining dough and crimp the edges to seal in the filling. Using a pastry brush, coat the whole surface of the pie with olive oil.

Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot or warm.
(Reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved. )

at -
Olive pittes by Marigoula Kokkinou
1 water glass orange juice
1 water glass oil (1/2 olive oil and 1/2 vegetable oil)
3 1/2 - 4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2-3 water glasses – pitted black olives (avoid olives preserved in vinegar)
3-4 large onions
fresh or dried mint to taste
3-4 tablespoons oil

In medium bowl, mix all the pastry ingredients and knead to make a soft dough. Cover and let stand while preparing filling. Finely chop onions and brown slightly in skillet with oil. If olives are not pitted, remove pits and cut in half. Finely chop mint and add olives and mint to onions in skillet. Strip and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool.

Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into circles with biscuit cutters or glass. Place one tablespoon filling on half a circle and fold other half to join edges. Press edges to seal tightly. Place in greased baking pan and bake in medium oven until browned.

Note: An olive roll can be made. In this case, roll out pastry into one rectangle. Spread filling evenly on pastry and roll. Press edges slightly and bake in moderate oven until browned.

Another variation is to divide and roll out pastry to size of pan and prepare as other pittes with one phyllo on bottom and other on top and filling in between.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Thank you, Alexia. The original recipe you posted sounds intriguing, because the egg is so prominent in the filling, unlike a quiche, which includes dairy.

I have a lot of old family recipes (Syrian) that use that oil pastry as well, with similar water glass-type measurements. The recipes are fun to read, but not quite accurate by today's standards. I agree- that type of pastry has a unique texture.
Joined Mar 3, 2002
The current Penzey catalog has a recipe for blueberry pie featuring an easy oil crust, entitled "No Roll Pie Crust" (p. 9). I haven't yet tried it.

It calls for dumping all ingredients into a 9" pie pan, mixing with a fork to blend well, then pushing it over the bottom & up the sides to form the shell, then dock.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups ap flour, 1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil (canola)
3 Tbs milk
Joined Jun 21, 2002
My favorite comes from Madame Cartet in Nice,and it is included in the book by Roger Verge on vegetables.It has a filling of chard,apples,raisins ,and rum in a sweet crust;almost like a turnover.A great summer lunch dish..
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