Swiss Chard and Artichoke Tart

Swiss Chard and Artichoke Tart

Torta pasqualina

Laura Edwards

It is an Easter tradition in Liguria to bake this tart, often to take on the compulsory picnic, pasquetta, on Easter Monday. It is based on erbette, a wild green variety of Swiss chard that grows on the surrounding hills. Artichokes are cultivated not far away and the delicate Ligurian olive oil is also local.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg shortcrust pastry
1 medium egg, beaten


Quantity Ingredient
extra virgin olive oil
12 small raw artichoke hearts, halved
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon salted capers, desalted
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1kg swiss chard leaves or spinach
250g fresh ricotta cheese
4 medium eggs, beaten
60g parmesan, freshly grated
freshly grated nutmeg
12 quail’s eggs, boiled for 3 minutes and shelled
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large lidded pan. Add the artichoke hearts, onion, capers, parsley and a little water, and braise, covered, until tender, about 10–15 minutes. Drain.
  2. Blanch the Swiss chard leaves in salted water for a few minutes, then drain. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the water and chop the leaves coarsely.
  3. Mix the Swiss chard with the ricotta and the beaten eggs, the Parmesan, a few grates of nutmeg and some salt and pepper to taste. Add the artichoke mixture and mix well together.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 5mm thickness. Grease a fluted 27cm loose-bottomed tart tin with a little olive oil, then line with the pastry. Cut off any surplus, which you will need for the lattice. Line the pastry in the tin with baking paper and baking beans, then blind-bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans, and cook for a further 5 minutes to crisp the base. Cut the remaining pastry into thin strips.
  5. Pour the filling into the pastry-lined tart tin, push in the quail’s eggs, and cover with a lattice of pastry strips. Brush these with the beaten egg, then bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
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