butternut squash and swiss chard tart

2:20:00 PM

Back to the wintery-ish food, yeah? 

Healthy-ish comfort food is the best. I know a lot of people are in need of a lot of comfort right now. (And action, action, action, but comfort is needed, too.)

This tart is perfect for brunch or dinner, delicious cold or warm, and the crust is made with 100% whole wheat flour and heart-healthy olive oil. Gruyere melts beautifully and combines with roasted butternut squash, swiss chard, and sautéed onions to make a delicious vegetable-based filling. 

I imagine this crust would work for a variety of fillings - someday, I’m going to try a bunch of caramelized onions and maybe some gouda.

The recipe calls for a 9 inch round pan. You can certainly make it in an 8 inch pan, but your crust will be a bit thicker. I prefer a thinner crust for this tart, because the olive oil has a fairly strong flavor, and it makes for a better crust-to-filling ratio. But it will be great either way.

This is a Cooking Light recipe that I tweaked slightly for a bit more flavor. I’ve made it a handful of times now and it’s one of my favorite things to do when we get swiss chard in our CSA. 

Ingredient notes:

*Whole wheat pastry flour has less protein in it than all-purpose flour, and significantly less protein than bread flour. It’s worth seeking out for this recipe.

*This calls for toasted pine nuts. Heat a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, add nuts, and stir frequently to prevent burning. Once they become golden and fragrant, remove from the pan and chop. You’ll use half of them in the crust and half in the filling.

*Use a good olive oil if you can. The crust will taste noticeably like the oil you use, so you don’t want a bad one.

*This calls for about 3 cups of cubed butternut squash. Peel the squash, halve it, remove the seeds with a spoon, and cut the squash into about ½-¾ inch cubes. If your butternut squash produces more than 3 cups (likely, unless you have a very small squash) I would recommend roasting all of it and just reserving some to eat later - it’s delicious! Otherwise, you can cube and freeze remaining squash for a future meal.

*Though I haven’t tried it, I suspect this would be good with other hardy greens, like spinach or kale. 

butternut squash and swiss chard tart 
serves 4-6 

for the crust
6 oz of whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1.5 cups)
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted, chopped, and divided
¼ tsp kosher salt (use slightly more if using table salt)
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil*
3 tbsp ice water
cooking spray

for the filling
3 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash 
5 tsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
1 tsp fresh rosemary (or ½ tsp dried)
½ tsp fresh thyme (or ¼ tsp dried)
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
about 5 cups of sliced swiss chard (about 1 head)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp kosher salt (use more if using table salt)
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3-4 oz gruyere cheese, grated and divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Make the crust: In a food processor, combine the pastry flour, half of the pine nuts (1.5 tbsp), ¼ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Mix together the ice water and olive oil in a bowl, then, with processor on, slowly pour it through the food processor chute and process until the dough is crumbly. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray, then pour the dough into the pan. Press the dough into the pan as evenly as possible - it likely won’t go all the way up the sides - that’s fine! 

Combine the cubed butternut squash with 2 tsp of oil, the fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme), salt, and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray. 

Place both the pie crust and the baking sheet of squash into the oven. Cook for about 23 minutes, stirring the squash once, then check. Crust should be lightly browned when ready. The squash should be soft and browned when ready.

While squash and crust are baking, start on the rest of the filling. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil, then add the onion and garlic. Saute 5-10 minutes until onion is soft, but not browned. Add the swiss chard, the balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook until the swiss chard is wilted. 

Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the swiss chard mixture with the two eggs and half of the shredded gruyere cheese. Gently stir in the roasted squash and the remaining pine nuts. 

Pour mixture into the pie crust , top with the last of the gruyere, and place back in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until filling is set. 

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