CSA produce box time is here, and my first two boxes have contained so many Spring greens, I hardly know what to do! My Tart of Spring Greens is a great way to utilize such leafy abundance! (CSA= Consumer Supported Agriculture, which means buying a subscription with a local farm and then getting boxes of fresh, local, seasonal produce throughout the growing season. Riverview Farms in North Georgia is my farm, and Wes and Charlotte do a fantastic job of supplying a wide variety of great produce!)
The recipe below comes from my cookbook: Easy Gluten-Free Entertaining. You can use whatever greens you have available to you. The addition of currants gives just a hint of sweetness which works to compliment the green flavors (which sometimes tend toward the bitter side).
I have been experimenting with gluten free pie crusts this week for a class on Sunday, and I’ll post about that later, but since I had leftover discs of pie crust experiments, I used my Sturdy Crust for this pie.
The crust in the recipe below provides a nice, flaky pastry. If you want to go deep-dish like the one in my pics, you can add another 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum to help hold it all together.
This week, my box provided me with two enormous heads of leaf lettuce (the head of romaine from my last box was big enough to be a beauty queen’s bouquet, and I’m still eating lettuce wraps with it!). In addition to the lettuce, it contained a large bunch of curly kale, beets with their greens, kohlrabi with their greens, two big heads of white cabbage, and a bunch of other non-leafy goodies like summer squash, red potatoes, cucumbers, and one large, perfect tomato.
For my Tart of Spring Greens, I chopped up the beet greens, kohlrabi greens, curly kale, and the tougher (and not so pretty) outer leaves of my huge heads of lettuce. I used unsweetened almond/coconut milk and organic eggs, along with lots of freshly grated nutmeg. I also topped it with some Daiya Mozzerella Shreds and added some bacon crumbles. It is delicious! I ate a piece hot out of the oven last night, and just enjoyed a cold piece for breakfast this morning, both were wonderful.
Tart of Spring Greens
This tart can be a great place to feature Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, dandelion, and especially the tart and lemony fresh sorrel. A few currents (or raisins if you can’t find them) add a touch of sweetness that compliments the tangy greens. Green tarts go back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They were made with all sorts of greens, some with cheese, some without, some made with almond milk or regular dairy depending on the Fast and Feast schedule of the day, and some with and without sugar. Use your imagination and take advantage of whatever is fresh!
2 cups chopped Swiss Chard (or spinach, beet greens, kale)
½ cup sorrel, sliced (or other bitter greens such as arugula or dandelion)
½ cup currents
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 thumb-sized knob fresh ginger
1 cup milk or dairy alternative of choice
½ cup sour cream (optional)
½ tsp. Nutmeg
Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
1 GF Pastry Crust
- Wash and slice the spring greens. Drain to dry.
- Whisk the eggs into the milk or dairy alternative. Add sour cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Sauté the dried greens in a pan until they give up some of their moisture and the pan dries out.
- Using the microplane, grate the ginger and another several gratings of nutmeg into the sautéed greens and mix until well coated.
- Distribute the greens mixture into the pre-baked Pastry Shell. Pour in custard mixture.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Greens will be soft but should hold their shape.
- Let cool before slicing.
Gluten-Free Pastry Crust
1 ¼ cups Pastry and Pie Crust Mix (30% brown rice flour, 30% white rice flour, 20% potato starch, 20% tapioca starch)
1 packet unflavored gelatin
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup Earth Balance
¼ cup coconut oil
3 tbsp. cold water
¼ tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Sift together Pie Crust Mix, gelatin, xanthan gum and salt.
- Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the cold fats into the flour mix until it is the size of small peas.
- Add apple cider vinegar and the cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time (you may not need all the water).
- Work the dough until it holds together into a firm ball. Flatten the dough out with your palms into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill.
- Place plastic wrap on the rolling surface, and have another piece of wrap ready.
- Place the disc of chilled dough on the bottom piece of plastic wrap. (You may have to let the dough warm up just a bit to avoid it being too crumbly). Place the second piece of plastic wrap on top of the disc.
- Use the rolling pin to flatten the dough, and then start rolling. The dough will slide easily between the pieces of plastic wrap, no need for extra flour. You may have to re-position the wrap a few times as the dough becomes a flat sheet. Stop and fix any holes that appear by pressing the edges of holes or tears back together. The heat from your fingers should be enough to make them stick. Continue rolling until you have a sheet that will overlap your pie pan or baking sheet by a few inches on every side.
- Using the wrap to help you, fold the dough sheet in half. Remove the bottom (now outside piece) and fold it one more time into quarters. Quickly move the dough into the pan, placing the inner point of the corner you just made into the center of the pan. Unfold the dough sheet so that it completely covers the pan. Use your fingers to gently press the dough into the pan. Remove the upper plastic wrap and fix any holes.
- Cut the excess dough from around the edge of the pan, and use your fingers to pinch the edges, or use a fork to create a decorative edge finish.
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF
- Prick the crust with a fork, or use pie weights to prevent bubbles.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the crust starts to brown. Allow to cool before filling.
Fill and bake at 350ºF with your preferred fillings.