Batteries Not Included

This week’s culinary triumph…The Winter Savory Tart

Virgin Under ground_SMSpankingMsWhitman-200x300Swiss Chard Ricotta Pie

I’m having a super busy week. I have Spanking Ms. Whitman free on Amazon through today and Virgin Under Ground my latest 1Night Stand story has just been released at Decadent Publishing. So what’s a busy author to do with all that nervous energy? Cook something!

Here at the Richards homestead, we belong to a CSA… A Community Sponsored Agriculture group which basically means we own part of a local farm’s harvest, and get a box weekly of whatever they are harvesting. Because we are in SoCal…we get these year round! But even here that does not mean lettuce and tomatoes. In winter, we receive the tougher things. Chard, collards, radicchio and other things my family stares at, convinced they are from another planet and suitable only for the denizens of that world. So…to avoid waste and eat ‘local and in season’ I have to get creative. These foods are full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidents and are very very good for people…of this world. So, the other day I made this dish based on what I had in the fridge. Here’s the recipe, I hope you will give it a try because everyone ate it and my picky husband, who had to be urged to try it, had a second piece!
Buter Pie crust: Take 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 tsp salt, cut in with pastry cutter or two forks 1 stick chilled butter cut into cubes just until butter pieces resemble peas throughout the mixture. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix until mixture comes together then wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least a half hour.

While the crust is chilling, take one bunch Swiss chard and cut the leaves off and set aside. Cut the stems into 1/2″ pieces and chop one small or 1/2 large onion. Drizzle a couple of tablespoos of olive oil into large skillet and add 5 garlic cloves. Stir cloves until browned then remove, you’re just flavoring the oil. Drop stems and onion in and saute for about five minutes until onion is soft and fragrant. Cut chard leaves coarsely and add to pan, stirring frequently until they wilt into the mixture. Remove from heat and add 2 cups Ricotta, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, two eggs, a spinkle of chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 and remove pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll out and place in 9″ pie pan, fill with yummy filling and bake until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean. I think mine was about 40 min, but watch and see. I didn’t prebake the crust because this particular crust always comes out flaky and delicious even if I don’t!

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