I had a victory last week. It was small, but it was a victory nonetheless. My little food processor had been in for repairs for the past month. During this time I came to realise just how often I actually use this appliance. Making pestos and sauces, sourdough breadcrumbs, grinding up nuts, making pastry, blending smoothies and soups…
I got it last Christmas as a present from the two people I love most. It was not fancy but I used it for something or other almost every day. As it turned out, electrical repair man couldn’t fix it or get the necessary part in, so the good people at Kenwood decided it was easier just to give me a replacement. However not for the same model. Instead, for my troubles, they upgraded me to the top of line – the 700 watter K-Mix! Woohoo! This blender was powerful! And with so many attachments! I was so freaking excited, I turned the music up full blast and danced around the lounge room like a hooligan. Like I said, it was a victory. I have been on a slicing, shredding, grating and blending frenzy ever since, and I really can’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
There is not a lot left in my vegie garden but a few herbs and some lovely yellow rainbow chard. For some reason I tend to only use the chard for this same recipe, and haven’t been able to make it since I was without my processor. This recipe is about as time consuming as I get – however it is well worth the effort. I made a shortcrust pastry made with a mix of plain flour and polenta. The polenta gives it a great flavour and lovely texture. I have on occasion made this without the pastry, as a frittata, which is also quite a good option if you want something on the table quickly.
I made it with potato today, but it can be replaced with any roasted vegetable really. I can imagine a roast capsicum, basil + olive version working very well in the summertime.
Potato Olive + Chard Tart with a Polenta Crust
For the pastry
115g PLAIN FLOUR
115g BUTTER, plus extra butter for greasing
pinch of SALT
1 Tbsp ICED WATER
1 POTATO, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
handful PITTED KALAMATA OLIVES, cut in half lengthways
small bunch CHARD, stems and leaves chopped
1/4 cup CREME FRAICHE (or sour cream)
4 SPRING ONIONS, thinly sliced
big pinch SEA SALT plus freshly ground PEPPER
To make the pastry simple place all the pastry ingredients except the egg and water into a food processor. Pulse until the butter is combined. Add egg and iced water and pulse gain until the mix comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for a minute. Form the dough into a ball and cover with cling film. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out both sides till you have a circular shape about 4mm thick, and wide enough to fit in a large flan tin. Grease a flan tin very well with butter, and lay the pastry over the top. Press the sides in with your fingers, then run the rolling pin over the top of the tin to trim off any excess – keep the left over pastry in case you need to patch up any holes. Blind bake by placing a sheet of baking paper over the top and filling it with dried beans. Place in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.
Place potatoes on a lined baking tray with a pinch of salt and a glug of olive oil. Place in the oven with the pastry and bake until tender – about 15 – 20 minutes.
In the meantime place your chard stems and a pinch of salt into a pot of boiling water on the stove. Cook for 2 minutes then add the leaves to the pot, cook for a further 2 mins then drain. Squeeze out the excess water.
Add the chard, eggs, creme fraiche, and a pinch of of salt to the food processor and blitz on high for a minute. Remove the pastry and the potato from the oven. Pop the potatoes into the pastry shell, dot the olives in around the potatoes and sprinkle the spring onions over the top. Carefully pour in the egg mix and return to the oven. Bake until set – about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with a leafy salad on the side.