Thursday, April 18, 2013

Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Galette

Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Galette with Pine Nuts

It's starting to get green around here. I was looking out my window today (procrastinating again), to find that the tree in front of my house has already leafed out with its small, almost fluorescent leaves. Spring is naturally a time of regrowth and renewal, the celebration of the return to life after the cold of winter.

But it has some added import for me. My birthday falls at the end of April and this year it's a big one--my thirtieth (there, I said it). And though I've been away for the past two years, it's also the time when I head to the woods of New England to essentially live off-the-grid, forgoing regular cell phone service and internet and computers and recorded music to read books and write, cook and bake, swim lakes and climb mountains, and teach at the New England Literature Program. Usually this means that I get to see spring green arrive for a second time, and in a way where that transition is a much more present part of our lives.

Last week my friend Martha of Quicksilver Productions asked me to make a sweet pie and a savory tart for her cousins' visit. More on the sweet pie soon, but for the savory tart, her only request was that is had to be something springy, without potatoes but with onions. Immediately I thought greens-- kale perhaps, but in browsing through Martha Stewart's New Pies & Tarts, which I've been baking a lot from recently, I found a recipe for this Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Galette. Perfect.

Swiss chard is the same plant species as beets--essentially beet greens, but chard has been cultivated to have large leaves instead of the bulbous red root. The flavor is similar though, and I especially love using rainbow chard, which has different colored stems--golden or pink or red, much like beets themselves. Martha (or her editorial team) says that Swiss chard and pine nut tarts are common in Southern France and Italy, where they're sometimes sprinkled with confectioners' sugar and served for dessert. I think this recipe is best for brunch or as a dinner appetizer.

Swiss Cheese and Goat Cheese Galette with Pine Nuts

Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Galette
Adapted from Martha Stewart's New Pies & Tarts

Nothing-in-the-House pie crust, halved
12 oz. (about 1 bunch) Swiss chard (I used rainbow), washed, stems removed and reserved
2 Tblsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
3 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 Tblsp. fresh thyme leaves
6 oz. fresh goat cheese, room temperature
3 Tblsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tblsp. pine nuts, toasted

1. Prepare half of the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust as per the directions, reserving leftover egg yolk for the egg wash. Chill dough at least 1 hour before rolling out into a 10-11 inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Put the rolled crust back in the fridge while you prepare the filling. 

2. Slice the chard stems into 1/4-inch pieces. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbslp. olive oil over medium heat. Add chard stems and onion slices, and cook, stirring occasionally about 8-10 minutes or until stems and onion are slightly browned.

3. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stems are very soft, approximately 15 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, until the liquid is reduce by about half, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer mixture to a medium bowl.

4. Heat the remaining 1 Tblsp. olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add chard leaves, sautéing until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat goat cheese and 2 Tblsp. cream on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in the nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper (my goat cheese was salted, so I didn't need to add any more salt).

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the dough from the fridge and arrange the onion mixture evenly over the crust, leaving a 2-3-inch border around the edge. Spread the goat cheese mixture over the onion mixture and top with the chard leaves. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and fold in the edges of the dough.  

7. Transfer the dough and parchment to a baking sheet. In a small bowl, beat reserved egg yolk with remaining 1 Tblsp. cream and brush the dough with the mixture. Sprinkle crust with coarse kosher salt with desired. Bake until crust is golden about 40-45 minutes. Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Related recipes:
Red & Golden Beet and Goat Cheese Tart
Tri-color Potato, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese & Rosemary Galette


Eileen said...

This galette looks amazing! Look at all that beautiful green. :)

emily said...

Thanks so much, Eileen!

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