Patrick Thibault, our gardener, is the James Underwood Crockett (erstwhile Victory Garden host) of Montreal; he dutifully tends to the daily greens and produce we harvest from the Vin Papillon and Joe Beef gardens, while also leisurely providing the end-of-season greens we might use to create a torte like this one.
You will need:
8-inch (21-cm) springform pan with 3-inch- (7-cm-) tall edges
For the raisin/cherry soak
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) water
Peel of 1 orange (large shavings)
2 tablespoons best-quality honey
1/2 cup (75 g) raisins
1 cup (125 g) pitted Bing cherries mixed with 3 tablespoons honey
For the cheesecake
2 bunches Swiss chard (stems diced small, leaves chopped fine)
1 2/3 cups (400 g) fresh ricotta
2 large eggs
8 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (100 g) honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Zest of 1 lemon
For the garnish
1/2 cup (200 g) honey
1/2 cup (70 g) toasted pine nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the water with the orange peel and honey. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn off the heat. Add the raisins and cherries and cover, letting the fruit soak for 25 minutes or so.
3. In the meantime, in a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the Swiss chard, both the stems and leaves. Transfer the chard to a large bowl filled with cold water, then strain and use paper towels to press any excess water out of the chard.
4. Strain the raisins and cherries, discarding the soaking liquid and the orange peel.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, honey, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, raisins, and cherries, and then the chard.
6. Butter the springform pan generously. Pour in the batter and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve at room temp or cold the next day.
7. To serve, unmold the torte and top generous drizzle of honey and a scattering of pine nuts.
Note: The taste here is neither a traditional dessert nor a main course. But do serve it as a dessert option or a side.
Excerpted from Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse by Frédéric Morin, David McMillan and Meredith Erickson. Copyright © 2018 by Frédéric Morin, David McMillan and Meredith Erickson. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new, and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. You have the power to keep us cooking, sharing these stories, and helping you in the kitchen.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table.