As a London foodie I seek inspiration from the sights, sounds, smells & tastes in places like Broadway or Borough food markets. On a grey chilly January day the Swiss chard with its jewel coloured ruby & golden stems & dark green leaves stood out. With thoughts of warmer days and planning holidays with a food blogger element I wanted to create a vegetarian recipe, with tantalising tastes of the Mediterranean. I had shortcrust pastry previously made & stored in my freezer. You can easily use shop bought, but try and get a good quality all butter variety. I blind bake the pastry case first to make it extra crispy but you can miss this step to speed things up.
Swiss Chard 10-12 leaves & stems, washed stems sliced finely, leaves chopped roughly
1 large leek, washed & thinly sliced
2 sticks of celery, washed and finely sliced
2 shallots, peeled finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, rind finely zested
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint , leaves roughly torn
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
125g Feta crumbled ( I used Odysea Greek Feta)
150g Ricotta or goat’s curd ( I used Ribblesdale Yorkshire goat’s curd)
25g pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry pan on medium heat
400g shortcrust pastry
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
Heat the oven to 165C/ 329F fan
Roll out the pastry thinly and line a large quiche tart case, with a loose bottom that has been greased & prick all over with a fork.
Line with baking parchment and add baking beans or dried beans or rice
Bake for 15 minutes, remove paper & beans, brush with some of the beaten egg
Return to oven & bake for a further 5 minutes, remove and cool.
Turn the oven up to 185C/ 365F fan oven
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to a frying pan on a medium heat.
Add chard stalks, shallots, leeks, celery, sage, parsley & mint stir and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally to soften the veggies without colouring them. Remove from heat & cool
In another frying pan add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil add the garlic and chard leaves and cook on a medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the leaves have wilted. Remove from heat, add to other veggies & cool
Add the crumbled Feta, lemon zest, toasted pine nuts, beaten egg & season with sea salt & black pepper
Add to the pastry case, flatten and then dot the surface with the ricotta or goats curd
Bake on the top shelf for about 30 minutes, check after 25. Cool for 20 minutes & remove from tin.
Serve a wedge either warm or at room temperature with some salad.
My Swiss chard, leek & feta cheese tart – aromas & tastes of the Mediterranean.