From "Bistro Cooking" by Patricia Wells

Provence offers a number of superb savory tarts, ranging from the rustic pissaladière—thick bread dough topped with sautéed onions, anchovies, and black olives—to the unusual tourte aux blettes—a fragrant vegetable tart topped with swiss chard (The French call it bette or blette), eggs, Parmesan cheese, and sometimes even pine nuts, raisins, or black olives. I love the superb, flaky base, a dough enriched with the local olive oil, rather than the more traditional butter or eggs. With this, you'll enjoy any crisp, young white wine.

Yield: 8 servings

For the Pastry
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Filling
1 pound swiss chard leaves (or substitute spinach)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
1. Prepare the pastry: Combine the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium-size bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup water and then the oil, mixing until thoroughly blended. Knead briefly. The dough will be very moist, much like a cookie dough. Press the dough into a 10 1/2-inch loose-bottomed metal tart tin.
2. Prepare the filling: Wash and dry the green leafy portion of the chard, discarding the center white stem. Break up the leaves and coarsely chop them, in several batches, in a food processor.
3. Place the chard in a large, shallow skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Over low heat, wilt the chard and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
4. Combine the eggs and the cheese in a medium-size bowl; mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in the chard and mix well. Pour the vegetable mixture into the prepared pastry shell.
5. Bake until the crust is golden and the chard mixture is firm and browned, about 40 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Excerpted from BISTRO COOKING copyright © 1989 Patricia Wells.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Wine content © Union Square Wines & Spirits. Wine and liquor sold by Union Square Wines & Spirits. Food and beer sold by FreshDirect.

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