I was doing the prep work on January’s Culinary Group and I realized I never posted the Spinach Tart. Now this is an easy dish we usually use for potlucks. It’s fast, takes very little time to make, and everyone loves it. We’ve done it as a big tart, we’ve done it as individual tarts, we’ve even done it gluten free.
We originally found the recipe at Medievalcookery.com and went back to the source then worked from there, but we have also made it the way Daniel Myers described and it’s just as good.
The recipe is from one of my go-to cook books Le Menagier de Paris as translated by Janet Hinson.
TO MAKE A TART, take four handfuls of beet-leaves, two handfuls of parsley, one handful of chervil, a bit of turnip-top and two handfuls of spinach, and clean them and wash them in cold water, then chop very small: then grate two kinds of cheese, that is one mild and one medium, and then put eggs with it, yolk and white, and grate them in with the cheese; then put the herbs in the mortar and grind them up together, and also add to that some powdered spices. Or in place of this have first ground up in the mortar two pieces of ginger, and over this grate your cheeses, eggs and herbs, and then throw in some grated old pressed cheese or some other such on to the herbs, and carry to the oven, and then make it into a tart and eat it hot.
Basic concept: lots of greens, cheese, eggs, spices all cooked in a pie shell.
I’ve used beet tops and they work well, but after a number of taste tests we determined that Swiss Chard is easier to get and just as flavorful while still giving you the same nice colour.
- One bag spinach (this cooks down a lot, it’s less than you think)
- Some swiss chard (for the colour so use as much or little as you want, but we want the bright red stalks to give the dish colour)
- 1 cup fresh parsley – diced
- 1 tbsp dried chervil
- 2 cups grated Mozzarella
- 1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan (feel free to use the dried stuff when in a hurry)
- 6 eggs
- 1 tbsp Powder Fort (substitute powdered ginger if needed, Daniel Myers adds fennel to his which gives a nice flavour too)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 pie crusts (make your own, or buy the pre-made crusts or a package of pre-made individual tart shells)
- wash spinach and chard very well
- chop spinach, chard, and parsley small (don’t use a food processor, it doesn’t have the right texture)
- beat eggs
- mix herbs and spices together
- add spices and cheese to eggs and mix
- pour egg mixture over greens and mix
- spoon into pie crusts or tart shells
- bake at 350 until cooked (depends on depth of pie usually an hour)
The final result is kind of like a quiche but with the greens and egg percentages swapped.
- Try it at least once with the beet tops
- If you want a very different texture change out the hard cheese for a soft cheese like Ricotta