Swiss Chard and Saffron Tart Recipe

By Staff |

Recipe by Joanne Bruno

I love the idea of savory tarts, but we’re reaching that point in the holiday season when I am utterly weary of cutting butter into flour and chilling for two hours, only to then fail to roll out a pie crust that doesn’t look like a patchwork quilt. Plus, I’m getting enough saturated fat at dessert…I don’t really need it for lunch and dinner, too.

This week, I discovered yeasted tart dough and my whole worldview shifted. Not only is it easy to throw together, but there is nary a tablespoon of butter in sight making it figure-friendly. While not quite as flaky as as a butter-based crust, it is a bit heartier, which pairs perfectly with this saffron-infused swiss chard filling. Now you truly can have your “pie” and eat it too.

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and third year MD/PhD student. Find more of delicious ramblings over at her blogEats Well With Others

Serves 6, adapted from The Greens Cookbook


For the yeasted tart dough:

1 tsp active dry yeast

pinch of sugar

1 egg , at room temperature

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, divided

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese or greek yogurt

For the tart:

1 large bunch of swiss chard, enough to make 7 cups, roughly chopped

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3/4 tsp salt

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups almond milk

large pinch of saffron threads , soaked in 1 tbsp hot water

1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

3 tbsp parmesan cheese

pinch of nutmeg

1 tbsp chopped parsley

freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp pine nuts


For the yeasted tart dough:

1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees) and set it in a warm place.

2. If the egg is cold from the fridge, place it in a bowl of hot water and let sit a few minutes to come to room temperature. Combine 1 cup flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well. Break an egg into the middle of the well. Add the cream cheese or greek yogurt, and pour in the yeast mixture if it is now foamy. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon to form a soft, smooth dough adding more flour as necessary. Dust the dough with flour, gather it into a ball, set it in a clean bowl and cover. Let rise 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled in size.

3. Flatten the dough, place it in the center of a 10-inch tart pan, and press it out to the edges using either your knuckle or the heel of your hand. It should be about 1/4-inch higher than the rim of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the tart:

1. Cut the chard leaves away from the stems. Chop the leaves into pieces roughly an inch square.

2. Heat the oven to 375. In a wide skillet, melt the butter and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent and soft, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, chard leaves and salt. Cook until the greens are tender, stirring as necessary so that they cook evenly. Set aside to cool while the custard is made.

3. To make the custard, beat the eggs in a bowl, then stir in the milk, infused saffron, lemon peel, nutmeg, parmesan cheese, parsley and black pepper, to taste. Stir in the chard and onion mixture and season to taste with more salt, if needed.

4. Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat until they are lightly colored, about 2 minutes. Pour the filling into the tart and scatter the pine nuts over the surface. Bake until golden and firm, about 40 minutes.