If you haven’t already heard of The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook, named for the blog Sara and Hugh Forte keep by the same name, you’re probably not a food blogger (nor someone who follows The James Beard Awards, for which it is a recent nominee). Last summer, when the book first launched, I only slightly exaggerate that about nine out of ten food blogs I followed featured the book at one point or another. And it’s not hard to see why.
Like the blog, the Sprouted Kitchen book is gorgeous, filled with colorful, crisp images on every spread. The recipes are focused on whole foods, from lentil meatballs in lemon pesto (the closest thing to non-meat meatballs I’ve ever had!) to flourless chocolate-banana pudding cakes (souffle-esque and wonderful). While, true, we’ve mentioned this book briefly here before, last fall when we had Sara’s mashies n’ greens (our kale mashed potatoes), we wanted to highlight it again, partly because we love how kind and approachable Sara is—something anyone who’s interacted with her can see—and partly because of one recipe in particular that has blown us away: this buckwheat harvest tart.
So a few things about this tart: When I first saw the recipe, I pictured something like a pizza, but, if your mind is going to the same place, be sure it thinks deep-dish. Made in a fluted tart pan with a removal bottom or, as in our case, a 10-inch springform, this tart is a sturdy, thick pie filled with a blend of roasted squash (we used sweet potatoes, in keeping with what was readily available this time of year), balsamic caramelized onions, sautéed Swiss chard, eggs and cheese (we used Pecorino). Making it takes time and a mess of dishes, but the end result is filling and hearty and different from any other tart I’ve had. While the idea made me think pizza, the eggs made me think quiche and, in fact, it’s neither and it’s both: a truly unique, hefty tart.
I also feel like featuring Sara’s tart and book is especially appropriate after that last post, which, in the comments, turned into a fascinating discussion about how we deal with the incredibly talented writers, photographers, artists, people, etc., who intersect with our lives. I’m going to guess that Sara would be sweet and humble about her and Hugh’s work, but as thousands of readers know, it’s something special. From the arresting pictures to the innovative recipes, their blog and their book are treasures for beauty-loving, real-food-eating people everywhere and, honestly, the SK cookbook is one of the favorites I own (thanks, by the way, to a giveaway at Kasey’s fantastic Turntable Kitchen!).
I love getting to tell you about it here because I love getting to point to something done as beautifully and thoughtfully as it was—and, in light of our recent chats about the value of blogging and why we’re blogging and what that means for us, pointing to others’ work is something I want to do more and more of here. It helps my proud heart to put others before myself, even in small ways like through blog posts. And, ironically, it helps me like it here more. The funny thing about giving, I think, even just giving praise or giving a listening ear or giving friendship like so many of you give to me here (!!), is that, really, you always end up being blessed yourself. And that reminds me of another post of Sara’s, actually, from Tuesday night, where she talks about the joy of hosting and feeding other people good food. It’s “an exercise in generosity,” she writes—which is an exercise the competitive, ambitious, driven world, especially the blog world, needs to see.
On that note, a quick announcement: I feel so strongly about this need in my own heart to put others before myself that, for the next month, I’m trying a social media experiment wherein I stop promoting my own content online (not because there’s something wrong with posting your own posts to social networks). Posts will still go live here on Tuesdays and Fridays (at least, that’s the plan), but there won’t be corresponding announcements on our FB page, Twitter profile or other online networks. What this means is two things: (1) You’ll have to come here to find any new content, (2) I’ll get to practice making much of not-myself and (3) You’re going to be seeing a lot more of a lot of other writers’, photographers’, designers’ content on our social channels. I’m pretty excited about it.
Sara Forte’s Buckwheat Harvest Tart
Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook
As Sara says in the book, this recipe takes a little prep work, so I’d recommend either setting aside an afternoon to play in the kitchen or doing as many steps ahead of time as possible. The crust could be made and chilled the day before; the Swiss chard, sauteed and refrigerated; the sweet potatoes, roasted; and the onions, caramelized. Then all you need to do for dinner is assemble and quickly bake.
For the crust:
1 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup einkorn flour (or other all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into cubes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
3 cups cubed sweet potato (from about two peeled sweet potatoes)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, coarsely chopped (about 6 cups chopped)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small yellow onion
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup grated Pecorino cheese
Step one is making the crust:
In a food processor, add the buckwheat, einkorn and the salt, and pulse to combine. Add the cubes of butter and thyme, and keep pulsing until pea-size chunks form. Add the apple cider vinegar and keep pulsing; then the cold water, one tablespoon at a time. Stop when the dough just barely holds together and begins looking like a ball of dough. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it up and set it in the fridge for at least a half hour and up to overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease the tart pan.
Next, bake the crust:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the buckwheat dough into a circle slightly larger than your tart pan. Sara says to make it about 1/4-inch thick, but I have no idea how thick mine was because I just focused on the circle size. Transfer the dough to the greased tart pan—either an 11-inch fluted or a similar-sized springform, ideally something with a removable bottom—press the dough into the bottom an dup the sides, patching up any holes. I sort of formed pretend fluting around the sides, like a pie crust, as I pressed the dough only partway up the pan’s sides.
Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork, lay a piece of parchment paper on top and fill the tart shell with pie weights (Sara uses rocks from the garden; I used some random beans). Bake the crust for 15 minutes; then, remove the weights and parchment, and return to the oven until the top looks almost dry, 10 to 12 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Now, for the fillings!
Roast the sweet potatoes:
Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoons alt and nutmeg. Spread this mixture in an even layer in a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet, and bake until the squash begins to brown around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Saute the Swiss chard:
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil and the garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle a bit and becomes fragrant, add the chopped Swiss chard, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the chard is wilted and unbelievably smaller in size, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Caramelize the onions (bliss!):
Peel and halve the onion and thinly slice it. In the same pan you just used for the chard, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion slices and a pinch of salt, and stir every so often until everything’s caramelized and fragrant, about 20 minutes. When the onions are a nice light brown color, add the balsamic vinegar, stir and turn off the heat. The onions will absorb the vinegar as they cool a bit.
Put together the filling:
OK, here’s the final stretch. Squeeze out excess water from the Swiss chard and return it to the bowl. Whisk together the eggs and add them to the chard. Next, add 3/4 of the sweet potatoes, half the Pecorino, the caramelized onion and a few shakes of pepper. Mix it all together. Spread it in the baked tart crust, which by now has been cooling for a little bit from its first bake. Scatter the remaining sweet potatoes and cheese all over the top.
Bake the tart for around 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s set and the top is browned. Let it cool for five to 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan and slicing the tart into pieces.