Aside from beetroot, I’ve managed to salvage some chard from the allotment this week. It was being eaten by something a few weeks back but seems to have renewed growth. I must confess though that I don’t much like chard!
We decided to grow it because it was just so so pretty to look at and it literally took over the patch with its stunning leaves. In fact with such vibrant colours it’s been hard to cut it at all!
Today I decided to pop it into some tarts. The girls call these allotment tarts because the ingredients are so interchangeable.
They are portable, great eaten cold or warm and this recipe makes enough for lunch and a little snack later in the day if the rain has kept at bay and you’ve stayed a little longer on the allotment than planned!
I’ve used feta, chard and sundried tomatoes here but you can vary the fillings as you wish. The girls like ham and cheddar, dandelion and feta or crab and cumin is nice too.
- 200g plain flour
- 100g cold butter – cut into cubes
- 20g butter – melted for greasing the baking tin
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp iced cold water
- 300ml crème fraiche
- 3 eggs
- 2-3 large handfuls of fresh chard, shredded
- 10 sundried tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 100g feta cheese, cubed
To make them (approx 8 x 4 inch tarts)
- First make the pastry. Put the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and blitz on pulse setting until it all looks like fine breadcrumbs. You could do this by hand if you don’t have a food processer.
- Whisk the egg and iced water together and slowly add to the breadcrumb mixture until it comes together into a ball of pastry dough.
- Knead lightly on a floured surface and then roll into a sausage shape (if using a rectangular tin) or ball (if using a circular tin). The shapes just make it easier to roll.
- Cover in cling film and pop into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to make your tarts, preheat the oven to 200C and grease your tart tins with lots of melted butter.
- Roll out your pastry out to around 5mm thick and then line the tart tins with it pressing it firmly into the corners and sides. Cut off any overhang and press down again gently and prick the base with the tines of a fork.
- Put this into the freezer while you make the filling.
- Mix the crème fraiche and eggs together well and season to your taste. You could also grate in a little nutmeg at this point.
- Chop the chard and sundried tomatoes roughly and then set aside.
- Take the pastry lined tart tins out of the freezer, lay over some foil or baking paper and fill each one with some baking beans or rice.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then take the beans off and bake again for 5 minutes to seal the uncooked pastry. It’s an important step to avoid a soggy crust.
- Take them out of the oven and leave to cool slightly and then add the chopped spinach and tomatoes evenly across all the tarts.
- Pour over the crème fraiche mixture, dot some feta in and bake for another 20 minutes until it’s golden brown and puffed up on top.
Leave to cool slightly and then pop in your allotment picnic bag!
How do you eat chard? What’s your favourite tart filling?