We have big beautiful bunches of swiss chard in the CSA Shares this week, a nice change up from the hearty kale! Swiss chard has thick vibrant leaves that can be used similarly to spinach. I’ve seen a few versions of swiss chard galette, slab pie, quiche, etc so we had to try our own in the farm kitchen. A galette is a free form tart with hand folded edges, they can be filled with sweet or savory fillings. This galette is paired with local bacon, manchego cheese, and a ricotta base. To make a vegetarian version replace the bacon with about 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of steps in this recipe, if you plan ahead it comes together easily. There also aren’t a lot of steps after the crust is made. If pie crust absolutely is not your thing, just use a pre made crust. For a gluten free version I recommend the Namaste brand gluten free pie crust mix.
Make the pie crust first as it needs to chill for a while. You can also make it ahead and let it sit just a little bit before you roll it out. I like to use white whole wheat flour (100% whole wheat, but a lighter version), but you can use white flour or 50/50 white and whole wheat. Spelt flour also works in this recipe, white, whole wheat, or a combo. Using a food processor is a super simple way to make crust. Pulse the butter, flour, salt, and water (a bit at a time), then gather it into a ball and chill.
I’m including this picture to show you that this dough is a little to dry which I realized after I chilled it. If this happens to you, just carefully mix in ice water and try not to over mix the dough. Mine rolled out fine after some ice water. I usually add one more spoon of water than I think when making crust, it should hold together when pinched with your fingers.
While the dough is chilling get the rest of the ingredients ready. Remove the stems from the chard, and chop it into small bite-size pieces (texture is important here). Crisp the bacon, and then remove it from the pan. Cook the garlic and chard in the bacon fat (drain some off if necessary), and toss until wilted. Shred the cheese, season the ricotta. All you have to do when the crust is ready is layer the ingredients and bake.
I like to roll out the crust between two pieces of parchment paper, then just transfer the parchment to a baking sheet. Spread out the ricotta, then top with the chard (leave as much of the liquid in the pan as possible), top with bacon, then manchego. Leave about two inches of crust all the way around, the shape should be irregular.
Carefully fold the crust around the filling, use the parchment to help fold it up (another advantage to rolling it on the parchment). Crimp any edges together if necessary. The last step is to brush a little egg yolk and milk over the crust so it will turn golden. Let it cool a bit before serving, then slice like a pizza.
Swiss Chard Galette
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or a combination of white & whole wheat or spelt)
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 – 8 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into lardons or 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlc, minced
1 bunch swiss chard, ribs removed, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup ricotta cheese + 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup finely shredded manchego
Pulse all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle with vinegar and ¼ cup ice water. Mix with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful if needed, just until the dough comes together; lightly knead until no dry spots remain (do not overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.
Crisp the bacon in a large sauté pan, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add garlic and swiss chard and cook over medium heat until chard is wilted. Season with salt and reserve. Mix ricotta with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Keep dough on one piece of parchment and place on a baking sheet. Spread ricotta over dough leaving a two inch overhang. Top with chard, bacon, then cheese. Carefully fold dough around filling, pleating where necessary. Whisk egg yolk with milk and brush over edges. Bake 35 – 40 minutes until golden. Let chill 5 minutes before slicing.
Vegetarian: Instead of bacon, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Saute mushrooms and reserve. Cook swiss chard and garlic in oil, then combine mushrooms and chard. Follow the rest of recipe as written.