Why meatless on Mondays? Not only is eating less animal protein a healthy diet choice, but curbing your meat consumption can have a significant environmental impact too. In 2006, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported that animal agriculture accounted for a full 19 percent of greenhouse gases—more than the transportation sector. Best of all, with recipes like these, going meatless can be a delicious weekly habit.
My diet is not gluten-free. One of my favorite things to make in the kitchen (and also to eat) is bread. I love everything about it; the feel of the flour in my hands, the smell of the yeast, the way the dough changes when those glutens are activated, the smell of the oven, the crackling sound of the cooling loaf, the way it tastes—everything.
But there are people in my life who don’t feel the same way. Not because all those things I love about bread aren’t lovely things that all humans crave, but because they can’t eat it. Gluten intolerance seems to be everywhere now, so as a cook, I have had to seek out recipes that satisfy the gluten craving of the gluten intolerant. Recipes that are as good as the gluten version are hard to find. Gluten has real purpose and function in baking. Without it, things usually just aren’t quite the same.
So it makes me happy when I come across a recipe (this one by my friend Deniz Dinler, who is a gluten-free baker) that acts as a perfect (undetectable) stand-in (not just an understudy) for a recipe that usually contains gluten.
Deniz made this tart for me using Swiss chard and golden cherry tomatoes from my garden. The crust is a thing of beauty.
Gluten-Free Swiss Chard–Cherry Tomato Tart
Serves 6 to 8
For the crust:
1/2 cup brown rice flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup quinoa flour
1/3 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons potato starch
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
6–8 tablespoons ice water
For the tart:
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, sliced and washed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium bunch Swiss chard, chopped
2 tablespoons white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon sweet rice flour or cornstarch
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 blind baked crust
Microgreens or basil leaves for garnish
Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 375° F. Whisk the rice flour, quinoa flour, almond flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Work the butter in with your fingers until mostly combined, with some pea-size pieces.
Add 6 tablespoons of the ice water. Squeeze a handful of the dough. If it feels crumbly, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
To use the fraisage method: Turn the dough out on a work surface. Smear the dough with the palm of your hand 3 or 4 times so that it comes together. Pat the dough into a round; then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
To use Ian’s-hot-hands method: Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a work surface. Turn the dough out on the plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap as a guide, turn the dough over and onto itself, pressing down with the plastic wrap and working around the dough until it comes together. Form the dough into a round, and wrap it in the plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.
Roll the dough out on a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer the dough to a pie tin or tart pan. Press the dough into the pan with your fingers if necessary. Chill at least 30 minutes.
Place a sheet of aluminum foil in the dough and fill with pie weights. Bake the crust until it is set, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake the crust until golden, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let the crust cool completely before continuing with the recipe.
Make the tart: Preheat the oven to 375° F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are blistered and have burst but still hold their shape. Reserve the cherry tomatoes. Wipe out the skillet.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in the skillet. Add the leek and garlic and cook until tender and pale golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard, wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the nutmeg. Cook until the Swiss chard is wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Reserve.
Whisk together the eggs, sweet rice flour, milk, coconut milk, parmesan, 1/2 of the Gruyère, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Fill the tart crust with the Swiss chard mixture and top with the reserved cherry tomatoes. Lightly press the filling down, and pour the custard over it. Top with the remaining Gruyère.
Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting. Serve the tart garnished with microgreens or herbs.