A wonderful appetizer, this delight is best served with a little tossed salad of micro greens with a crisp vinaigrette as a garnish.

Aunt Grace's Chard Tart
Recipe type: Appetizers
Serves: 10
  • Crust:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 Cup warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter; softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Filling:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion; thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper; seeded, sliced thin
  • 1 pound Swiss chard (preferably ruby chard)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 3/4 pound Colby or mild Cheddar cheese; grated
  1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and water in a small bowl, and let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and egg, then stir in 1/2 cup of the flour and the butter and salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour until a soft dough is formed.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until it is no longer sticky, adding a bit more flour if needed. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, turning to butter the entire surface. Cover and let dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. For the filling, heat the oil in a skillet, and slowly saute the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper slices and saute for 5 minutes longer. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully rinse and clean the Swiss chard and chop coarsely, including the stems. Cook the chopped chard and stems for 2 minutes in the boiling water. Drain the chard and squeeze out as much water as possible. Stir together the egg, basil, pepper, salt, and the cooked chard.
  6. Grease a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Punch down the dough and roll out on a floured surface to form a 14-inch circle. Fit the dough into the tart pan, trimming the excess from the edges. Spread the onion and pepper slices over the bottom of the tart shell. Cover with the Swiss chard mixture, then top with the cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden. Cut into wedges and serve hot.
This recipe serves 10 to 12 as an appetizer.

Comments: The Rowe Inn at Ellsworth in northern Michigan is a small country restaurant operated by the Westhovens, a couple who were among the first of the local restaurateurs to use and promote indigenous Michigan ingredients. Their dishes combine the old and the new, such as this appetizer tart that features chard, cheese, and egg. It is one of the favorite summer offerings at the inn, and is named for the woman who supplies the restaurant with fresh fruits and vegetables all season long.

Recipe Source: HEARTLAND by Marcia Adams

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