Sunday, May 6, 2012

Swiss Chard Tart: Pasticcio di Bietole al Forno

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Now let me warn you, this is not a pie or a tart as we know it but it is so good, I made it two nights in a row! Not having a photo to guide me, when I saw the ingredients I thought it would also be a little puffy but it's not..  The eggs really help to bind the chard together and the tartlike result is due to the crusty top and bottom from the cheese and bread crumbs.

Whatever you do, make sure you get the full two pounds of chard.  It may sound like a lot.  It is not.  Swiss chard, like spinach, reduces to smithereens and you will surprised what you end up with after cooking it.  Also, do not cut back on the ingredients.  You need to make the full recipe to get it right.

The only change I made was cooking the chard initially 10 minutes instead of 15 and baking it for 45 minutes at the end instead of an hour, but I have a convection oven.  Also, after using an oval dish the first time, I decided to use a 9 inch pie pan the second time.  It was much better.

Although it can be served as a main course for lunch or as a starter for dinner, I think it is best as a side dish.  We really enjoyed it with grilled pork chops marinaded in lemon juice, garlic and oregano with apple chutney on the side.  The second time we had it was with filet mignon and a Bearnaise Sauce.  Your pick!

Serves 4


2 pounds Swiss chard, washed and spun dry
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/8 cup
3 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring 8 quarts water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.

Roughly chop the Swiss chard, discarding the rough stems. Add the Swiss chard to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

In a 12-inch saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over a medium flame until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and the parsley. Let cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, break the eggs into a small bowl. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of Parmigiano and, using a whisk, mix until the ingredients are well-blended. Add the egg mixture to the cooled Swiss chard and toss to combine.

Using the remaining olive oil to lightly grease a shallow 9-inch round or oval baking dish. Dust the bottom of the baking dish with 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Carefully place the Swiss chard and egg mixture into the pan. Dust with the remaining Parmigiano and then the remaining bread crumbs.

Bake until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve hot or room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Mario Battali


  1. This looks really good and there was chard at the farmer's market - Tuesday is another market -- and it will be our Tuesday dinner!

  2. I had this dish at my daughter's for dinner last night and it was delicious. I plan on making it myself very soon.


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