Sweet chard pie, the story of the mysterious vegetable cake from Nice

Summer of all sugar, all honey (5/7) – This funny recipe, which combines green vegetables and sugar, has been intriguing for nearly six centuries. A recipe for anything but a pie!

Just imagine: a pancake heavily covered in green vegetables, which might look like a couple of drops of water for spinach — but it’s not. To be honest, there really is nothing but sweet chard, Torta de Bleigh in Nissart. Nor is it found anywhere other than Nice. Swiss chard has always been a very special product of the gastronomic culture of this city on the Riviera. While the dry climate does not favor growing spinach, it does quite well with chard that grows nearly year-round and is found in many local recipes: pasta, gnocchi, ravioli, and even black pudding… Reach for dessert!

Unlike carrot cake or pumpkin cake that benefit from the sweetness of the vegetables, chard doesn’t provide anything for the cake. It even brings a slight acidity, even a little bitterness. This is all its charm! A new example of this local penchant for savory sweetness is found in pissaladière with the alliance of olives, anchovies and caramelized onions.

Anything pancake except pancake

La Mirinda Pie. La Mirinda / Photo Press

The chard is the main component of a rich appliance. Finely chop the green leaves after separating them from the thickened ribs, and mix with eggs, Parmesan cheese, raisins, pine nuts, apple, brown sugar, lemon peel, a little old-fashioned broth, olive oil and a pinch of pepper, according to the recipe for the essential book on Nice County Kitchen Written by Jack Medicine. Then everything is decorated with a short paste with olive oil. Then the second dough covers the device – because it is a pancake, not a pancake.

Some recipes recommend using pastis instead of old-fashioned marc or even pears instead of apples. In addition, it is highly recommended to use Nice chard – not out of chauvinism, but because this variety is smaller, with thinner and therefore more delicate ribs. Once cooked for a good hour, usually in a large square pan, the pie is cut into rectangles and then served warm or cold but in any case sprinkled with powdered sugar. In the mouth, the mixture melts with happiness, with this interconnection of new flavors.


Look for the rest of the episodes of the series “All Summer, All Sugar, All Honey”.

episode 1 – Tarte Tropézienne, the sweetest star of the Côte d’Azur

Episode 2 –Sfogliatella riccia, the Neapolitan slipper no less than couch potato

Episode 3 – Basque Cake is crunchy and smooth to take away!

Episode 4 Pastel de Nata, the story of the little Portuguese flan who conquered the world


The first written recipe for this sweet pie dates back to the 15th century. It is one of the thirteen Christmas desserts, in their Niçoise type, that the Provençal tradition recommends tasting on New Year’s Eve. Obviously, in Nice, you can enjoy Swiss chard off that date. However, it would be best to have some standards so it doesn’t run around town because not everyone takes the time to prepare a recipe. Among the defenders of this pastry with a strong identity, Chef Dominique Le Stanc, for example, systematically puts it on his menu at La Merenda. Chez Pippo, well known for its wood-fired coca, serves one to finish the meal.

On the morning of a market in Cours Saleya, a stop at the Chez Theresa stand is highly recommended unless you want to enjoy a table in the shop on Droite Street. Finally, baker Jean-Marc Bourdonat, so eager to perpetuate the Nice County pastry tradition he inherited from his father, still has some in his bakery stall.


Best places to taste sweet chard in Nice

La Merinda, 4 Rue Raoul Bossio, Nice. Reservations only via the Internet.

Chez Pipo, 13 Rue Bavaastro, Nice. Such as. : 04 93 55 88 82.

Chez Theresa, 28, Rue Drouet, Nice. Such as. : 06 13 53 11 76.

Jean-Marc Bourdonat Bakery, 19 Rue Parla, Nice. Such as. : 04 92 27 99 86.

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