The focus of my March cooking challenge is vegetarian dishes, so while on spring break earlier this month I cooked up the Crustless Swiss Chard Pie from The Skinnytaste Cookbook. I have grown to love Swiss chard, and it is now my go-to leafy green. Typically I sauté the chard in a little olive oil (and unsalted butter, if I’m feeling indulgent) with minced garlic, salt, and pepper, so I was curious to try this alternate way of preparing the vegetable.
I found the pie slightly tedious to prepare. There were vegetables to chop, two cheeses to grate, and eggs to beat. The onion and chard had to be sautéed on the stove before being added to the pie filling. While none of this was difficult, it did take time and dirtied up a lot of dishes. And then when the pie was all assembled, it still had to bake for half an hour before being eaten.
I served the pie for lunch alongside some leftover French onion soup. It was tasty, no doubt, but not so delicious that I found the effort of its preparation truly worthwhile. Skinnytaste author Gina Homolka admits that this pie is her way of getting picky eaters in her family to eat Swiss chard. Since both John and I happily eat sautéed Swiss chard, I will likely stick with that in the future. The pie did hold up well as leftovers, however, and we rated the recipe at a very respectable 3.5 stars.
Crustless Swiss Chard Pie
1 small bunch Swiss chard, washed well (I used red Swiss chard)
1 TB unsalted butter
1 large white onion, cut into thin half moons
1/2 cup grated light Swiss cheese (2.5 oz)
2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup fat-free milk
1 tsp olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with oil.
2. Separate the stems from the leaves of the chard. Finely chop the stems; roll up the leaves and slice them into thin ribbons.
3. In a large skillet, melt 1/2 TB of the butter over low heat. Add the onion and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the onions caramelize, 8 to 10 more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the remaining 1/2 TB butter and the chard stems. Cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper to taste and add them to the bowl of onions. Add the cheeses and toss well.
5. Sift the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk, olive oil, eggs, and 1/4 tsp salt. Pour into the bowl of Swiss chard and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate.
6. Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean, 27 to 30 minutes. Let it stand at least 5 minutes before serving. Slice into 6 wedges.
Yield: 6 servings. Per serving, 4 PointsPlus.