rainbow chard, summer squash and blue cheese tart [fail]

July 29, 2010


This tart had the potential to be epic. I had such high expectations! You know what I was thinking about while I was making it? The process took an hour and a half – way longer than I am usually willing to cook for – and I was thinking about how I would tell you this but reassure you that it was totally worth the effort.


It might have been, if The Collapse hadn’t happened. Everything was going so swimmingly. This is a bit of a fussy recipe for me. Not difficult, just time consuming and full of different steps. But all the steps go together really easily and you’re never waiting for anything – in fact, it times out pretty perfectly.


I was getting super excited and everything was going so well. I was proud of myself! And then at the crucial last moment, literally as my awesome husband was pulling into the drive way from a soccer game (I smiled to myself and was all pleased about the timing) I tried to slip the tart from baking sheet to plate….and The Collapse happened. The entire tart base just crumbled and collapsed. Guess I need to work on my pastry skills!


Shit happens. My tart fell apart. What are you gonna do? You’re gonna take it outside with some knives, forks and wine and dig into the mess that was The Collapse.

Still delicious. Still worth you trying to make. Just do a better job than me at the pastry, okay?


On another note, whilst at the market this weekend I asked one friendly farmer to tell me the difference between rainbow chard and swiss chard (which the original recipe called for). The answer was “basically nothing”. Rainbow chard just has more varietals of the same chard. And it’s super colourful.

Don’t be scared of blue cheese. It’s SO GOOD. Especially with (crumbled) pastry as its vehicle.

Rainbow Chard, Squash and Blue Cheese Tart
adapted from Jane Baxter from The Guardian

serves 4-6


  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 tbsp very cold water
  • 5 tbsp pecan nuts
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • A dash of Tabasco
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 3/4 lb Swiss/Rainbow chard
  • 1/2 lb blue cheese, chopped (I use Black River from Wisconsin)
  • 1.5 oz grated parmesan
  • 20 sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Briefly process the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, add the butter, pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, tip into a bowl and stir in enough water to make a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for half an hour. On a floured surface, roll into a rough circle, lay on a greased baking sheet, prick with a fork and chill for 15 minutes. In a 400F oven, bake the pastry for 10–15 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. Mix the pecans, cayenne, Tabasco and salt on an oven tray and bake for five minutes, until lightly toasted.
  3. Halve, deseed and peel the squash, and chop into 1/4 inch cubes. Place on an oven tray, toss in oil, season and bake for 30 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle over the garlic, bake for five minutes, then set aside to cool.
  4. Gently sweat the onions in oil for 20 minutes until soft but not brown, and set aside. Separate the chard stalks and leaves. Chop the stalks into less than 1/2 inch pieces, blanch in boiling, salted water for four minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same water, cook the leaves for a minute, remove, refresh under cold water and squeeze out any excess. Add the stalks and leaves to the onions, mix well and season.
  5. In a bowl, combine the pecans, squash, chard and cheese. Use this to cover the pastry base, sprinkle parmesan on top and bake for 10 minutes. Fry the sage in butter until crisp and use to garnish the tart.

Onwards and upwards!

What was your last kitchen fail?
Please make me feel better…

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