Our crop of swiss chard is ready now with large leaves and some of it starting to go to seed. This is thanks to Gil and he’ll have to tell you how he did this.
Chard cooks into the consistency of pure creaminess with a smooth and wonderful delicate flavor. (Who canNOT like it?!) It is a vegetable that should be cooked since it contains oxalic acid (that’s the toxic stuff in rhubarb leaves, but chard has no where near as much of it), which is neutralized by cooking. It is okay to have it occasionally in raw salads.
This pie is similar to quiche. Go ahead and tweak the flavorings- try some fresh garden herbs instead of the nutmeg, for instance. Some folks might like a bit of “bite” and if this is you go ahead and put some ground hot red pepper in, also in place of the nutmeg.
And, although you can sub out the making of the pie crust and get a frozen one, we are purists for good food and highly recommend making a whole wheat crust. The nutty flavor along with the veggie custard is well worth doing.
Swiss Chard Pie is a great lunch or brunch dish, but also great for dinner paired with a big leafy garden salad. -jmm
Swiss Chard Pie
1 9-inch whole wheat pie shell
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated
2 precooked turkey sausages- not the breakfast type, cut into 1/2” pieces
1 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. With a fork stab the bottom of the crust a few times. Bake the shell for 25 minutes, or until pale golden. Set it aside to cool. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
3. Coarsely chop the Swiss chard leaves and set aside; finely chop the stems.
4. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chard leaves, stirring constantly, until they wilt. Turn up the heat and cook, stirring, letting the excess liquid in the pan evaporate. Transfer the leaves to a plate.
5. Add the butter to the skillet and heat until it starts to brown. Add the onion, garlic, chard stems and sausage. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until stems and onions are tender.
6. As the mixture cooks, in a large bowl, beat the eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Parmesan cheese.
7. Stir the chard leaves into the stems and onion mixture. Transfer to the pie shell. Set the pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet.
8. Pour the egg mixture into the shell. Press with a fork to gently work the egg mixture into the chard mixture.
9. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is just set in the center.