I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the combination of chard, pine nuts and raisins. And I’ll find anyway I can to combine them. Here they are in a sort of tart. I made a jam of shallots and raisins and garlic, and I spread this on a yeasted crust. Then I topped that with a custard made with chard, fresh mozzarella and pine nuts, and of course lots of fresh basil, which is one of the best things about summer. And I put some slices of fresh mozzarella and more pine nuts on top.
Here’s Summertime by Billy Stewart.
1 t yeast
1 t sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups flour (+/-)
3 T soft butter
1 t salt
1 T sugar
ground black pepper
In a large bowl combine the yeast, sugar and one half cup warm water. Set aside in a warm place for a few minutes to get foamy. Then add everything else, as well as enough water to make a soft workable dough. Knead for about seven to ten minutes until it’s soft and springy. Set aside to rise in a warm place for a few hours.
1 largish shallot, peeled and trimmed
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 T olive oil
1 t balsamic
splash of white wine
1 t thyme
2 t rosemary
Combine the shallot, garlic and raisins in a food processor and whiz until finely chopped (or finely chop them by hand!)
In a small saucepan over medium heat warm the olive oil. Add the shallot raisin mixture, rosemary and thyme and stir and cook until they’re all browned and caramelly, maybe ten minutes. When the pan starts to dry out add a bit of balsamic or a dash of wine, and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
splash of olive oil
1 medium-sized bunch of chard, washed and trimmed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup pinenuts (plus more to scatter on top)
a big handful fresh basil
1/2 cup milk
about 4 oz fresh mozzarella, a bit of it cut into thin slices, the rest broken into pieces
pinch of salt, lots of pepper
In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chard and stir and cook until its bright but wilted. Add a spoonful of water if the pan dries out too much, but you want it to be quite dry by the end.
In a food processor, combine the eggs, milk, chard, basil, pine nuts and non-sliced fresh mozzarella. Blend until fairly smooth and flecked with green.
Lightly oil a cake pan or a tart pan with tallish sides (I used olive oil). Press the dough into the pan and up the sides, curling it around the top slightly so it will stay up. Let it rest while you preheat the oven, and then bake it for five or ten minutes till it just loses its shine and you’re sure it will stay up.
Spread the shallot and raisin layer evenly over the bottom, and then pour the egg/chard mixture over that. Arrange the sliced cheese on top and scatter the pine nuts.
Bake 25 minutes or so until puffed and golden. Let cool slightly, slice, and serve.