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Swiss chard and onion tart

A favourite at our SS14 preview event, this tasty tart is a great recipe for a weekend lunch. For variation, consider the base as a canvas: you can add what you like (within reason). Try a few chopped anchovies or some mushrooms sautéed with thyme. You could even crack a couple of eggs on before baking...

175g plain flour

1 teaspoon caster sugar

a pinch of salt

125g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

about 3 tablespoons cold water

50g butter

3 small onions, finely sliced

leaves from 1 sprig of thyme

300g Swiss chard

10 olives, chopped

1/2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese *

3-4 tablespoons crème fraîche


First make the pastry. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in enough water to make a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a rough circle (or actually any shape – this tart is very rustic, so the less uniform, the better). Place on a baking sheet, prick with a fork in several places and chill for 15 minutes. Place in an oven preheated to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and bake for 10–15 minutes, until golden brown.


Heat the butter in a pan, add the onions and thyme and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until soft but not coloured.


Meanwhile, separate the chard stalks from the leaves and chop both leaves and stalks roughly, keeping them separate. Add the stalks to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 2–3 minutes, until tender. Remove the stalks with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the leaves to the boiling water and blanch briefly. Drain well, refresh under a cold tap and then squeeze to remove as much water as possible.


Add the chard stalks and leaves to the onions and reheat gently. Season to taste and mix well. Spread the mixture over the pastry base and sprinkle with the chopped olives, Parmesan and a few blobs of crème fraîche. Bake in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.


Recipe kindly provided by our friends at Riverford.