Entrees - Swiss Chard or Spinach Tart




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Teachyrchildren
10-31-2009, 08:35 AM
Swiss Chard or Spinach Tart
Serves 6-8

This is really delicious, and makes for a wonderful vegetarian entree or side dish. The combo of greens with pine nuts and raisins comes from some regions of Italy. I've only made this with fresh chard, but friends make it with spinach; and I assume you could if pressed for time use 2-3 boxes chopped frozen spinach, and start from step 3. Use real Parmesan cheese, since the flavor is so important for the taste of the dish.

Large head of swiss chard, or 3 lbs fresh spinach
Salt
Spray oil (or olive oil)
2/3 cup onion chopped fine
2/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese (Buy the real thing, not the awful stuff in the green can!)
2/3 cup eggbeaters (what I used) or 2-3 beaten eggs
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup seedless raisins
Freshly ground black pepper
9" or 10" springform baking pan
1/4 cup of unflavored whole wheat bread crumbs, lightly toasted

1. Cut the hard ends off the long stems if using the chard. Wash the chard and spinach. Cut the leaves into shreds.
2. Boil water in a pot, using enough water and pot volume to accommodate the chard or spinach. Cook until tender, approx. 5-10 minutes for chard, 2 for spinach. Drain and set aside to cool.
3. When cool enough to handle, squeeze all the moisture from the chard/spinach using your hands.
4. Chop the chard/spinach very fine.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Choose a sautee pan that can accommodate the chard/spinach. Spray with the oil and add the chopped onion. Cook at medium until the onion turns a light nut-brown.
7. Add the chopped chard/spinach, turning heat to high. Cook, turning the greens over frequently, until it becomes difficult to keep it from sticking to the pan When done, transfer entire contents to a bowl and let cool.
8. When chard/spinach has cooled to room temperature, add the grated Parmesan, the beaten eggs or eggbeaters, and the pine nuts. Drain the raisins, squeeze them dry in your hand, and add them to the bowl. Add a few grindings of pepper. Mix thoroughly, taste and correct for pepper and salt (the Parmesan is salty, so a small pinch of salt is probably all that's necessary).
9. Smear the bottom and sides of the springform pan with olive oil or use spray oil. Use a little more than half the bread crumbs, sprinkling a thin layer evenly over the pan. Add the greens mixture, leveling it off, but not pressing it hard. Top with the remaining bread crumbs, and spray with a bit of oil.
10. Put pan in preheated oven, bake for 40 minutes.
11. Remove pan, running knife edge along side of pan to release the torte. After 5 minutes rest, use a wide spatula to loose the torte from the pan bottom and slide it, without turning it over, onto a serving plate. Slice into six or eight portions. Serve warm or at room temperature.