The Lovely Lady Baker Cooks Swiss Chard & Leek Tart

Photo courtesy Smitten Kitchen

I like Quiche. When we went to Tahoe this year to ski with friends, I made a quiche for breakfast since it is so easy. One of my friends asked if I made quiche often, and after I thought about it, I don’t really make them at home. M doesn’t like them that much – something about pie crust mixed with eggs… so making a whole 9 inch quiche for myself might be a little indulgent. I did decide to indulge one night when M had to stay late at work. I had everything I needed to make a Swiss Chard and Leek quiche, so I turned to a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that I had bookmarked to try.

Quiche is an easy meal, and not terrible for you as long as you don’t use heavy cream to whip with the eggs. It is also a “fridge cleaner” since you can put an assortment of vegetables in it and it will taste good. I think it would be easy for people with kids too as long as they eat eggs. They are fast to make – I know this from experience because I made 16 quiche one morning for a women’s event at my church. They are a breeze to mix up, and it gives you ample time to prep some sides like fresh fruit or mixed greens.

Quiche is also the perfect dish to try going vegetarian one meal per week. M and I have reduced our meat consumption drastically over the past two years, treating meat as more of a side dish than a main dish. This is a Michael Pollan eating concept we decided to try after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto. Both are great reads and will make you think twice about eating meat.
Swiss Chard & Leek Tart
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 frozen organic pie crust
1 T butter
1 giant Leek (or just under one pound of leeks, dark green parts removed)
1 T fresh chopped thyme
1/2 bunch swiss chard (I had red chard) ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1 inch size pieces

1 1/4 C 2% milk (I used 1/4 C heavy cream and 1 C skim milk)
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 425˚F and place the rack in the lower third. Bake shell 15 minutes and remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350˚F.

In a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the leeks. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cover and sweat for 5-10 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook another 2 minutes, or until wilted and tender.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and milk in a bowl. Remove the leeks and chard from the pan, and whisk in 1/3 of the mix quickly. Whisk in the rest of the leeks and chard and pour into the partially baked crust. Spread out the vegetables evenly within the shell and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350˚F. It may take a little less time, but mine needed the extra 5 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting. The top should be nice and golden brown. Serve with fruit and mixed greens.
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