Rainbow Chard Tart in a Chestnut Crust

September 17, 2009
1 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This is my original recipe, a riff on the classic French Tarte aux Blettes. It's worth the effort to find the chestnut flour for the crust as the nuttiness is delightful with the savory filling. This is a lush and luxurious way to present chard, and you can serve it proudly to anyone, even the French Ambassador! - Abra Bennett —Abra Bennett

Test Kitchen Notes

Making this tart requires a bit more effort than I typically can spare on a weeknight, but it certainly is worth it. The chestnut flour crust, full of fresh herbs, seemed a bit difficult to handle at first, but after minute or so, rolled out like a dream. When cooked, it’s fragrant, with the mildly sweet, almost earthy flavor of the chestnut flour apparent but not overwhelming. The filling itself is rather simple, but thoughtfully constructed, to allow the chard to hold center stage. Altogether this is a lovely, not-too-rustic, just-a-bit elegant tart worthy of Editors’ Pick honors. ;o) – AntoniaJames —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Chestnut Crust
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chestnut flour
  • 6 ounces salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • Rainbow Chard Filling
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon quatre épices or nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. Chestnut Crust
  2. Place the flours, chopped herbs, and the butter, cut in chunks, in the food processor. Pulse 6-7 times until the butter remains in pea-sized chunks.
  3. Turn the mixture out into a bowl and with a fork stir in the ice water. On a lightly floured board or marble slab, turn the dough over gently a few times just until it holds together.
  4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour.
  1. Rainbow Chard Filling
  2. Preheat oven to 425°.
  3. Dice the chard stems into a fine dice. Make a chiffonade with the chard leaves by stacking them up, rolling them lengthwise, then slicing across the rolled leaves until you have a pile of fine strips.
  4. Slice the whole bunch of green onions, keeping the green and white parts separated.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the diced chard stems and the white parts of the green onions and sweat them, covered, over a low flame, for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chard leaf chiffonade and the sliced onion greens to the pot. Salt, pepper, and sprinkle with the quatre épices. Cover the skillet and sweat the vegetables together for another 5 minutes. The chard should be tender to the bite and highly seasoned. Remove from the fire and let cool.
  7. Roll out the dough and fit it into a removable bottom 10" tart pan.
  8. Whisk together the crème fraîche, cream, eggs, and egg yolks. Stir in the cooled vegetables.
  9. Pour mixture into the tart shell and set the tart in the hot oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350° and continue baking the tart for another 25-30 minutes, until the surface is golden, slightly puffed, and lightly firm.
  10. Serve at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Greenstuff
  • EmilyNunn
  • Lena S.
    Lena S.
  • melissav
  • AntoniaJames
I love to cook and create recipes!

13 Reviews

Greenstuff December 3, 2010
Congratulations on the Editors' Pick! I've now made it twice, and I still have a lot of chestnut flour to get through! This tart and Clotilde Dusoulier's canistrelli (Corsican cookies made with chestnut flour) are going to be a big part of our holiday season.
AntoniaJames December 3, 2010
I just posted a recipe for a chestnut shortbread-like cracker last night, if you're looking for ways to use your chestnut flour. (It's actually more like a savory cookie . . . ) Also, don't forget Rita Banci's Castanaccio, the traditional Italian chestnut cake, which she posted here last month! I did the EP review for this tart. The crust, I agree, is out of this world. ;o)
Greenstuff November 26, 2010
I made this--the crust was very flaky and would be great with other fillings as well--I'm thinking maybe mushrooms. My chard filling was not quite French-ambassador worthy. When I make it again (and I will!), I'll take to heart Abra's advice that the chard should be highly seasoned.
essenfeld November 24, 2010
Did a test run of this recipe and it came out fantastic. Going to make it as a Thanksgiving side.
EmilyNunn November 16, 2010
Wow, I love the very thought of this.
Lena S. November 12, 2010
Thanks! I live in Montreal, there are a few older italian markets - so I will definitely check in with them. - I have visions of making this crust.
AntoniaJames November 13, 2010
Formaggio Kitchen, a Cambridge (MA) specialty grocer featured in "The Shop" on food52, sells it in one-pound bags. Go to and put "chestnut" into the search box on the top right of the home page. ;o)
Greenstuff November 12, 2010
You can order chestnut flour from amazon.
melissav November 12, 2010
This looks so beautiful. Where do you get the chestnut flour?
Lena S. November 12, 2010
I've been looking everywhere for chestnut flour...any ideas, or suggested substitutions?
AntoniaJames November 12, 2010
Go to (or call) the best, oldest Italian deli - grocers within twenty miles. I live in the SF Bay Area, where there are several really good ones, within a few miles of me even, that have been around since the early part of the 20th century. Sometimes they carry chestnut flour, sometimes they don't. My hunch is that more will stock it during the holiday season. (I found it at Genova deli on Telegraph . . . I've gotten it at Ratto's in downtown Oakland in years past but they don't have it now, and are not sure if they will be anytime soon. Haven't checked with AGF this fall.)
Greenstuff November 12, 2010
AGF (A.G. Ferrari) doesn't have it.
AntoniaJames November 13, 2010
Genova had about six bags on the shelf today. I bought one. May go back for more . . . . ;o)