swiss chard pie & open spaces April 19, 2011

This was dinner last night. A quick pie with the chard I bought. Some Jarlsberg cheese I’ve had stored away. Just one of the huge Vidalias I got from my photo shoot. The last of the eggs. With a simple salad and some mustard vinaigrette, it was our dinner. Sitting on the deck right off the kitchen, it was satisfying. Easy. We sat under the tree that covers our patio. Looked out over the wide spans of our yard. Had some sips of wine and hung out.

It was also my lunch today. Padding around our almost-excessively large kitchen. I heated the whole tin up in the oven. Cut off a slice, re-visited that beautiful lettuce, grabbed a towel and a fork and was headed outside to eat my solo lunch al fresco. I set it down in the windowsill and started looking out the window. All that yard. All that space. I was standing in this huge kitchen – in the space where we keep saying a table needs to go – just gawking at the light. Wait until you see the light. It’s remarkable. I ended up leaning up against the window, noshing on my lunch…feeling a bit overwhelmed (in the best way possible) and aimless in that there’s so much to do…so much that can be done and, well, there’s some daydreaming, elbow-leaning meandering to be done.

While I don’t do pie crusts (something I’m planning on remedying, believe me), please feel free to make your own crust here. I’m lucky that a buttery, flaky pie crust is within a 10 minutes drive of my house so I choose to keep those on hand for moments like this. Make sure you pre-bake your crust a bit before throwing all the ingredients in. If you feel so inclined to add some crumbled, cooked bacon…do that. This pie is a blank slate for adding on your own touches. I’m calling this a pie because…I’m fairly certain that quiche gives pie a bad name. I fear that some male members of my friend and family circle wouldn’t eat it if I called it a quiche so I’m running interference on that. Let me also say this – it’s dang good cold. You can cut off a slice and eat it as is. Feel free to warm it up to your desired temperature.

Swiss Chard and Vidalia Onion Pie – serves 6-8 as main dish sized pieces

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large swiss chard leaves – or about a cup roughly chopped
  • 1 small Vidalia or comparably sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup sharp cheese, shredded – I used Jarlsberg but Gruyere or Swiss would be lovely here
  • 9″ frozen orĀ  homemade pie crust – prebaked for 15-20 minutes until lightly brown
  • 1 pinch dried red chili flakes
  • 1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste – 1/2 tsp of each should work depending on how salty the cheese is
– Pre-heat the oven to 350. Wash the chard, dry thoroughly and rough chop. Discard the thick, rough stems. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the diced onions and saute until transparent but not brown, 5-6 minutes. Add the chard and cook until slightly wilted, 1-2 more minutes. Set aside to cool.

– In a large mixing bowl, beat together the 4 eggs with the milk and heavy cream. Add the dried red chili flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk again until lighter yellow and frothy.

– In the pie crust, spread the shredded cheese around the bottom. Spread the sauteed onions and chard over the cheese. Pour the egg mixture into the crust to cover the cheese, greens and onions. Put the quiche in the oven for about 25 minutes – this time depends on your oven. You’re looking for it to be set all the way through till the middle – a jiggle test or a clean toothpick from the center will tell you it’s done. Let cool for 10-15 minutes if eating immediately. This keeps beautifully and will store in the fridge well-covered for 2 to 3 days.


Justin Ide Apr 19, 2011 11:04 pm

Love the second photo … so natural and crumbly, but also composed and beautiful.


Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen Apr 19, 2011 11:04 pm

This is a lovely “pie”! What I would do for some Vidalia onions… My guys call quiche “man pie” and they love it.

Alesya Apr 20, 2011 07:04 am

Very interesting photo in the pan! Give me new ideas on how to take photos. You’re such a source of learning and inspiration.

Maris (In Good Taste) Apr 20, 2011 07:04 am

That looks so tempting!

Kathy - Panini Happy Apr 20, 2011 02:04 pm

Oh my goodness, the dainty swirls of the chard in that first photo are just beautiful.

SMITH BITES Apr 20, 2011 02:04 pm

yessiree bob, i mean Tami . . . this is my kinda meal . . . breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle Apr 20, 2011 02:04 pm

I just posted a recipe for a quiche; and have been assured that real men do eat it. Whew. Caramelized onions, bacon, cheese in mine but I love the chard in this. I also keep ready made pie crusts available. I can make my own but sometimes at 6:30pm when I’m just hungry I love the convenience of something that I don’t have to roll and cool and…well you know.

Beautiful photos; wishing I had just one more piece leftover…to share.

Elle Apr 20, 2011 03:04 pm

Fabulous combination of ingredients. I love making, pie for dinner. And we always add a salad. It’s perfect!

The Teacher Cooks Apr 20, 2011 03:04 pm

This is what I call a perfect meal.

Joyce @friendsdriftinn Apr 20, 2011 06:04 pm

I love egg “pies” be they quiche or frittata…easy meal when you come home from work. The garden here has been too wet, but I am so looking forward to growing some fresh chard…it’s a favorite!

lo Apr 21, 2011 06:04 pm

Deliciously simple. And simply delicious (I’m sure). I love a great veggie pie. Or quiche. Or whatever you’d like to call it.

And what a great stage you set for this dinner. I can’t wait until the weather here in Wisconsin cooperated for outdoor dining.