simple tart

At the organic market on the weekend I got some lovely looking rainbow chard (or silverbeet, I'm not actually sure if they are the same or different, but ours had rainbow stems). We decided to make chard + feta pie, which of course is very yummy, but also quite simple to make. 

I made mine very simply - and both the kids ate it all. Ari didn't like the pastry, but I don't mind that, at least he ate the filling and the salad. 

Firstly pastry - you don't need any equipment at all. There are quite a few different recipes that I use, well actually I barely use a recipe at all. Just rememberings of things. But it's as simple as making bread, only you put it in the fridge to set for at least 1/2-1 hr, rather than letting it rise. If you don't want to make your own pastry (though really it is much cheaper and better for you + the environment) you can use puff or filo pastry.

My quick pastry:
flour (you can use wholemeal, plain, spelt or whatever you prefer, though I've never had much luck with rice flour)
butter - frozen is good, and you can grate it in (you could also use any vegan substitutes you have)
Mix it with your fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs. My kids love doing this (though if your kids are prone to this sort of thing -last photo - I'd possibly advise against!!). Slowly add a few bits of water until it forms into a dough mix, then knead it lightly. Put it in the fridge, in a plastic bag, for at least 20 minutes, though 1hour is better. {While I don't actually bring plastic bags into the house there is always something to use. That random bread bag, or the plastic bag a friend brought in, or the one you accidently got on the day you were feeling tired and stressed and hasseled by the kids and forgot to take your vege bags}.
Once you've left it to do it's thing in the fridge, roll it out and put into your tart/pie tin. I don't grease my pan, but I suppose you may need to depending on what you cook in. If it's not rolling too well, you can instead push it into the tin with your fingers forming it across the base and up the sides until it's sort of thinnish, but no holes please. Then back in the fridge for 20 mins - while this part is not absolutely necessary (and often doesn't happen at my house), it helps the pastry to not shrink while cooking.
I always put it in the oven for a little while before adding the filling, but I don't (currently) have a very good oven. Do remember that the filling it cooked, so the pastry will need extra time. But don't over cook it at this stage. Perhaps 180 for 15mins ? check it, and keep an eye on it.
{this pastry doesn't look really cooked, but believe me it was 
yummy and flaky and crumbly just the way it should be}

For the filling, what we did was:
Fry some red onion (you could use shallot, leaks, white onion, anything) in olive oil. Oh first, fry off your spices; I like cumin and coriander and whole black mustard seeds, and also whole fennel seeds (but my family are a bit fussy about the fennel..), and a bit of sea salt + pepper (do keep in mind, when adding the salt that feta can be quite salty itself, so taste your feta and season accordingly). Then add the onion + garlic and lightly fry. Don't let it burn. Then I added the silverbeet stalks, cut up into smallish rounds. And after that's cooked on the pan {I swear by my cast iron, cheaper version of Le Creuset}, I added the silverbeet leaves cut up sort of roughly, not too small, but not too big.
I sploshed in a bit of water, and put the lid on. With low heat I let it cook for a bit, to let the silverbeet break down.
I decided to make a quick white sauce to add to it. - just a blob of butter, a spoon of flour - mix on the heat, then add milk (I add cold and stir really quickly to get out any lumps). I added the sauce to the silverbeet mix. It's just as good without the white sauce.
Other things you could add are red or green lentils (cooked first, of course), potato, sweet potato, pumpkin (you could just lightly steam/boil that, until tender then cook into the silverbeet). 

Then put your filing into the pie case. We put the feta on top, and sort of pushed it in, but you could just as easily mix it properly through the filling (and add other cheeses too, if you want). No lid as the pastry didn't stretch that far (forgot to buy more flour at the healthfood shop). Into the oven until the feta is nicely melty and possibly has a good burnish-golden brown on it. 

I often make pies quite differently to this. I suppose this really would be called a tart, rather than a pie. But whatever - it was very yummy. Sam ate up at least 2 helpings of seconds (me as well, but that goes without saying - you may like to know I have my Winter coat on - on my tummy, bottom + thighs.....)

We served it with a very simple salad. Mini roma tomatoes, lebanese cucumber (if you use the other sort, and have never tried a lebanese one, please try one as they are must tastier, and less watery), fresh yummy market carrots (well, it was all market stuff, but organic carrots are often so much more sweeter than non-organic), red capsicum (both Sam + I prefer green, which we find sweeter, but the kids prefer red), and torn parsley leaves. Topped with a good glug of olive oil and generous squeezings of lemon or lime juice.

Gina - I think silverbeet + haloumi pie would be yummy as well. You could mix the haloumi in, or put it on top and it'd go all gooey and golden (unless you have a terrible oven like mine!).

Please let me know if you make this simple easy tart, or any alternatives.

*Ha, I bet you all thought that the title "simple tart" was about me, hey.... hmmmm - I know you!