Sometimes I think about using my many years of restaurant experience to open our own place. It would be called The Ordinary, of course. It would be tiny, it would have two or three tables. It would have a set menu – one or two different things each day, and vague prices. And I’d serve things like this – this lovely savory tart, with chard from the CSA and beautiful, tasty castelvetrano olives. This tart is flavored with tarragon and basil – two very fresh and summery flavors. I chose the most anise-y basil that we’re growing, because it went well with the tarragon. I used more cheese in this tart than I usually do, which made it a bit like pizza (a selling point with Isaac, who eventually tried it and ate the whole thing and asked for more!) but you could easily use less. The crust was crispy and crunchy with hazelnuts, and went very well with the savory greenness of the tart.
Here’s Dear Catastrophe Waitress, by Belle and Sebastian.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup hazelnuts – ground
1/2 t salt
1 stick frozen butter
Mix the flour, hazelnuts, salt and pepper in a big bowl. Grate in the frozen butter, and mix well with a fork so you have a crumbly consistency. Add just enough ice water to bring it into a ball. (For me it was exactly 1/2 cup). Chill till you’re ready to use it.
1 medium-sized bunch of chard, washed, and stems removed (about 1 cup cooked and packed)
1 clove garlic
2 scallions, white parts mostly, cleaned and chopped quite fine
2 T olive oil
1 T fresh tarragon, chopped
at least 2 T fresh basil (the extra anise-y kind works well here) chopped
1 cup (+/-) castelvetrano olives, pitted and sliced in half
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sharp cheddar – grated
1 cup mozzarella – grated
salt and plenty of pepper
Boil the chard in a pot of salted water for 5 – 10 minutes till it’s soft but still bright. Drain it in a strainer, and run cold water over it. Let it cool till you can handle it, then squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop very fine.
Warm the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it gets bubbly, add the garlic and scallions. When the garlic starts to brown, stir in the chopped chard. Cook till everything is warm and the pan is dry, then remove from the heat. Stir in the tarragon and basil. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425. Roll out the dough and press it into a butter & floured tart pan. Slash it in a few places. You can return it to the fridge to chill as you wait for the oven to preheat – this will help it keep its shape.
Cook the crust for about ten minutes, till it’s set and no longer shiny.
Whisk the eggs and milk in a big bowl. Stir in the chard and cheeses. Season with salt and plenty of pepper.
Spread the eggy mixture into the crust. Arrange the olives on top in a pretty pattern.
Cook for about 1/2 hour, till puffed and golden brown.