09 June 2009

Tarte aux blettes

I thought I should follow through with the Swiss chard quiche — la tarte aux blettes — recipe I mentioned a couple of days ago. There's nothing very exotic or extraordinary about it, except that it is very good. When Walt is the baker, this is a standard preparation. I help.

The recipe, if you can call it that, is one I got off the Internet. It was on a blog called La Cuisine Facile de Tini (thanks to Veronica for a link that works). This morning, of course, I can't get the blog to load into my browser — I just get an error. But I printed out the page a couple of days ago, with modifications, and here is my translation into English:

Cooked Swiss chard, called blettes in French
I recently enjoyed a Swiss chard quiche at my mother-in-law's house. I soon started making the same thing for myself at home, because it is delicious and makes a complete evening meal: eggs, vegetables, cheese...

You need a kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of Swiss chard, 4 eggs, ¾ cup of cream, a splash of milk, some ham or bacon cut into dice, grated Swiss cheese, an onion, salt and pepper, and a pastry crust.

Chard, grated cheeses, and sautéed lardons (smoked pork)
for the tarte aux blettes
The day before, or in the morning for an evening meal, clean the chard leaves by removing any damaged parts and trimming off the rib ends. Wash the leaves and cut them into small pieces. Put them into a pot of boiling water to cook for about 15 minutes. You can cook the ribs first and then add the green leafy parts for just 3 or 4 minutes at the end if you want.

Drain the chard well and keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to make the quiche.

The chard in a layer over the sautéed onion, grated cheese,
and ham or bacon, with the egg and cream mixture poured over all.
Then dice and sauté an onion in a little bit of olive oil. If you are using bacon, sauté it too (ham doesn't need to be pre-cooked). Add the chard and let it all cook together until all the moisture is evaporated and everything is lightly browned. Let the mixture cool.

Roll out the pastry dough (puff pastry or regular pie crust) and line a pan with it. Sprinkle some grated cheese over the bottom (along with diced ham if that's what you're using). Beat the eggs with the cream, adding a little milk to get a liquid consistency. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some more grated cheese over the top and bake the pie in a 210ºC/410ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until it's golden brown.

Put some more grated cheese on top and
bake the tart in a hot oven for half an hour.

We used a mix of grated parmesan and grated Comté cheese in this one. We also added a grate of nutmeg to the egg & cream mixture — nutmeg is always good with melted cheese. Walt always pre-bakes his pastry crust so that the liquid mixture won't make it soggy on the bottom.


  1. Looks wonderful, as always! What size would you say that your round tarte pan is, Ken? I'm thinking of buying a new one, and the ones I see look either too small, or too big.


  2. Hi Judy, that's a 12" (30 cm) pan and is about the biggest one we've got. It's deep too.

  3. Looks like a scrummy tart to me. I put a sprinkle of grated nutmeg in lots of things. It's my favourite mystery ingredient in vegetable soup, along with a glass of dry sherry.

  4. Anonymous, does 'scrummy' mean you think it looks good or bad?

  5. Ken, scrummy is short for scrumptious. That means it looks great !!

  6. It does look very scrummy (we learned a new word). Time Warner is working feverishly to get ready for the new digital age starting June 12, so my service is getting interrupted a lot. That, is crummy!

  7. Seeing your quiche reminded me to get some leftover spinach quiche out of the freezer for dinner tonight.

    Quiche freezes well and we enjoyed it. I need to try some chard sometime.

  8. Yum, that looks great! I've never cooked tarte aux blettes, but this makes me want to try!

    Your link to Tini was broken, here's the real one:


  9. Hi Veronica, thanks for the link to Tini's blog. I corrected my link in the text of my post (it's a link I got from a google search) and gave you credit. By the way, did you ever live in Antony, outside Paris? I knew a Veronica there many years ago. She was the roommate of an American friend of mine.

  10. Evelyn, the Swiss chard quiche is very much like a spinach quiche. I haven't ever frozen quiche (though we freeze lasagne and gratins all the time). Thanks for the tip. See you on Facebook...

  11. Nadège, yes we learned a new word. Scrummy, crummy -- too close to have diametrically opposed meanings. But I understand scrumptious. Not sure I understand what you mean about the new digital age on June 12...

  12. Hi Ken

    nope, never lived in/near Paris -- we are country folk at heart! I spent 5 years in London, and enjoyed it at the time, but that was enough city life for me.

  13. Thanks! A new idea for chard. I don't keep cream around regularly, so I'd have to remember to buy some. But everything else we usually have in our kitchen. I agree with Anonymous about nutmeg. I use it a lot, too.

  14. Hi Ginny, Walt just found another kind of Swiss chard pie to make that doesn't include cream or eggs. I'll post about it on the blog when we make it.

  15. Thanks, Ken, I'll look for it (although I think I'm going to try to make this one tonight.)



What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?