Today, in this second installment from my private chef job down in North Carolina, I'm going to share with you a really spectacular Sunday brunch. Truly, this meal was a huge hit with everyone. In fact, I’d prepared this exact same menu the summer before. (This was my second summer cooking down in NC.) It was hands down, everyone’s favorite, so I knew I just had to make it again this year. They all recognized it immediately, and with great enthusiasm. And all loved it just as much this time around. If not, then they loved it even more!
This Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Tart is another one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks. Can you guess by now which book this is? I feel like a broken record sometimes… It’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin. Every single recipe in this book is incredible, outstanding, simply stupendous. Every single one is a must-try. In my case, each recipe is a must-try-again-and-again. I admit, I’m addicted.
Anyways, let me tell you about this magnificent tart. Atop the buttery puff pastry crust sits layer upon layer of incredible flavor. First a creamy covering of ricotta and crème fraiche, and then a crumbling of pure white goat cheese. All this is covered in a shroud of tender greens – huge leaves of Swiss chard sautéed with extra-virgin olive oil, aromatic thyme and shallots. One last layer before going into the oven, more of that smooth, beautiful goat cheese. But that’s not nearly it. Once the tart is through baking – once the crust is crisp, golden brown and the cheese is just slightly melting – then it is time for the final layer of flavor, a relish of plump, juicy currents and toasted pine nuts. This savory concoction, crowded with fresh rosemary and parsley and sweet, balsamic soaked red onions, is truly like icing on a cake. And the combination of the tart with the relish is way more than the sum of it’s already delicious parts.
Now, I’ll tell you the truth: This tart really, really good. But I’ve got another recipe for you today, and this one may even deserve one more ‘really’. The Heirloom Tomato Panzanella. I think this is my favorite summer recipe of all time. At the height of the tomato season – in between BLT’s and gazpacho and tomato-basil-mozzarella salads – Ben and I eat this Panzanella all of the time, like once a week at least. Talk about addictions!