Yesterday as I was walking home from lab in the middle of the day to put my laundry in the dryer (the most ordinary of ordinary things), I saw her.

Or, well, perhaps she saw me because when our eyes met I got the feeling that she had been watching, observing from a distance, as we closed the distance between us, while I hadn’t really been paying attention.

We nodded. A quick “hey” as we strode by in that awkward way of people who don’t really know each other, and yet.  Do.

But really, what do you say to the woman who tried to save your father’s life.  But didn’t.

PicMonkey Collage

I know that it wasn’t her fault.  She was a good doctor who had the unfortunate luck to be on the wrong service on the wrong floor at the wrong time with the wrong patient who had made all the wrong decisions.

Just like I was a good daughter who was wrongfully unaware of the mess she was walking into as she joined her parents on that first day in the emergency room.  A daughter who had known that something was amiss for a while.  A daughter who was relieved that whatever it was would finally be addressed.  A daughter who was hopeful that things could get better.

A daughter who was wrong.


In a way, it was comforting to see her.

She was there at the end.

She has a piece of him somewhere in her memory that I want to hold onto.  And as long as she still works there, as long as I get to walk by her at 11:30AM on a Tuesday right outside my apartment building.  Then it’s as if I get a piece of it too.

But then again, in a way. It was not. Because if none of this had happened, if none of it were real, then we would not know each other.  I might walk by her every day and have no idea.

And so as long as she and I can look into each other’s eyes as people who knew each other, once.  It means that it was true.  That, yes, it was a nightmare, but not in the sense that I want it to be.


Some days I’m pretty good at pretending that none of it ever happened.  And then there are some days, like yesterday, when I am blindsided by the fact that it did.

Tart making is perfect for times like that.  There is something very satisfying about rolling out a round of dough, molding it into a tart pan so that all the pieces fit just so, and filling it with something delicious.  The winter squash/caramelized onion/swiss chard/gruyere combo pairs perfectly with the hearty buckwheat-infused crust, reminding you that maybe you can’t change everything that is oh so wrong about the past.  But, at least, you can make something very right.

As a side note, I just want to thank everyone for all of the supportive comments and emails over the past few weeks.  It has really meant a lot to me.  In addition, I have a sort of request for you. I always feel awkward doing this, but as some of you may know, I am running the NYC Marathon in four weeks with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  While previously, I didn’t have any real connection to the cause or to cancer in general, this year I am running in honor of my father.  My goal is to raise $1250 for LLS and I was wondering if any of you would be willing to donate to help me do so.  While my father did not have leukemia or lymphoma, a lot of the research that LLS funds goes to combating cancer in general, as many cancers have common origins and mechanisms of disease.  Any donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated.  Here is the link to my fundraising page –  I apologize that it is not set up in any real way, but I just haven’t had the time.  I hope to get to it as soon as possible.

PicMonkey Collage1

Buckwheat Harvest Tart
Serves 6, adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

For the crust

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

For the filling

  • 1 small delicata squash, cubed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated gruyere


  1. To make the crust, add the buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, and the salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined.  Add the butter and thyme and pulse until the butter is in pea-size chunks.  Keep pulsing while adding the vinegar.  Add the cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, stopping when the dough just barely holds together.  Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in saran wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle (about 1/4-inch thick).  Lift the dough into a 10- or 11-inch fluted tart pan.  Press the dough into the edges and up the sides, patching up any holes along the way.  Gently roll your rolling pin across the top of the tart pan to remove the extra dough and create a clean edge.  Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork.  Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust.  Fill the tart shell with pie weights (I use dried beans).  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake until the top looks almost dry, another 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven to cool.
  4. While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and the cinnamon.  Spread in a single layer and bake until the squash begins to brown around the edges, 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven to cool.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tbsp of the olive oil.  Add the garlic.  When it becomes fragrant, add the Swiss chard, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt.  Cook until the chard is wilted, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  6. Peel and half the onion, then thinly slice it.  In the same pan that was used for the chard, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt.  Stir every so often until the onion is caramelized, about 20 minutes.  When the onions are light brown in color, add the balsamic vinegar.  Stir and turn off the heat.
  7. When the chard is cool enough to touch, squeeze out any excess water from it and return it into the bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined and then add to the chard.  Mix in three quarters of the squash, half of the cheese, the onion, and a few grind of black pepper.  Gently mix together.  Pour into the tart pan, spreading the filling into an even layer.  Scatter the remaining squash and cheese over the top.  Bake in the oven until the egg is just set and the top is starting to brown, 24-28 minutes.  Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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67 Responses to Buckwheat Harvest Tart

  1. Love you lady and sending you a huge hug!!

  2. I want to hug you through the computer. There are no words. This is just always going to be a majorly shit time. I’m so sorry.

  3. bellini says:

    Kitchen therapy is the best kind. A big bear hug is being sent your way.

  4. Amy says:

    Ah, they say we’re all connected somehow…not exactly the way you want to be sometimes. Awkward. Being in the kitchen is the best medicine. Day by day, sweetheart. Day by day…. donated!

  5. This tart looks like it could make a broken heart feel better… Thinking of you…

  6. SallyBR says:

    Super ultra warm hug going your way… I know what you are going through, unfortunately it is a painful path to walk…

    Glad you are back into the kitchen and making masterpieces such as this tart… gorgeous!

    (good luck reaching your donation goal….)

  7. kelsey says:

    You are such a fabulous and strong woman- I love you but you already know that.

    I hope you reach you’re goal, just donated 🙂

  8. Danielle says:

    It’s been almost 4 years since I lost my dad and I still think about him every single day. It gets easier but never goes away. Good Luck with the marathon!

  9. Continuing to think of you, my dear. I hope that some of the little joys like this amazing looking tart can bring you some happiness. Know that we are all here for you and supporting you at this tough time… Hugs!

  10. I always find that cooking and baking and being in the kitchen is a great comfort and distraction for me when times are rough. I’m thinking of you, still, as you go through this — always know that I have an open ear! This tart looks amazing, too — and what a wonderful thing for you to run that marathon — good luck!

  11. Monet says:

    You are such a strong and beautiful woman. My heart is with you.

  12. Pam says:

    Cooking can be so calming and healing. This tart would make anyone feel better. Sending love your way! xoxo

  13. Shannon says:

    Just made a donation. Good luck in NYC and I hope you meet your goal. I have no doubt that whatever you raise will be a great contribution to a worthy cause.

    – Shannon @

  14. Pam says:

    This tart looks perfect to help the healing process. Blessings to you…

  15. I love how you can take something from your life and morph it into the introduction to a recipe. You have such a talent for writing. And recipe creating. Your tart looks really crazy delicious. And don’t be embarrassed to ask for money for a good cause! I hope to help when I get paid Friday.

  16. Food is very powerful therapy and can be just what we need after a run in like you had yesterday. For a long time after my dad died I tried to avoid any conversation, and thought that implied that the man who was once my father is no longer alive. But that avoidance isn’t always healthy because it’s fear overpowering our brains instead of love. Perhaps she can be a reminder of the love that you really both had, in a way, for your dad, and the passion you both had for him to continue living.

  17. Saguna says:

    So much love for you and this beautiful tart. I’m in awe and sending lots of good vibes for the NYC marathon in a few weeks.

  18. Wow, your post brought tears to my eyes! Sending happy thoughts your way! And this tart is absolutely stunning! I think I could eat this entire thing by myself!

  19. Guru Uru says:

    Good luck my friend, if anyone can achieve their goals it is you, who is so inspiring 😀
    Your tart is sumptuous!

    Choc Chip Uru

  20. Beth says:

    Sometimes there seems to be very little we can do when our hearts are breaking. But cooking healthy food is something we can do with our hands to keep our stomachs and our souls nourished.

    Take care of yourself, and hold onto the wonderful memories you have of your father.


  21. Jessie says:

    I wish I could give you a hug right now, Joanne. My remarkable friend who makes everyone around her smile and laugh. Enjoy your beautiful tart, and enjoy your friends and family. We all love you!

  22. Joanne I really admire your strenght and honesty. You are awesome.

  23. Chris says:

    I agree, there is solace in food. For me, more the act of cooking it than eating it. Hang in there Joanne. Our thoughts are with you.

    For us, today is one month to the day. In some ways it seems like a year ago. Other ways, just yesterday.

  24. Gloria says:

    Oh dear Joanne is not easy you lived(
    Cook and bake is nice when Im sad walk too (you run)
    Have patience with you is not easy send you love and huggs

    And love this Tart look beautiful!

  25. Faith says:

    I can only imagine what it was like to see her. I’ve been through hard times before when the emotional pain feels so real it hurts even to breathe…let alone think about it. But I’ve never lost a parent so I am left bewildered and completely amazed at your strength. Sending you continuous (truly!) prayers and good thoughts. And hugs.

    Let me know if I can do anything, my friend. xo

  26. Cara says:

    I know it doesn’t make it all better… but I would seriously bet there is great satisfaction in biting into that hearty buckwheat crust, in a way that regular ol’ flour can’t provide.

    Continued good thoughts and big hugs to you!

  27. OohLookBel says:

    Beautiful tart. And I hope you raise lots and lots for your cause.

  28. Patty says:

    I am so saddened by you loss…it is so hard to lose a parent…

    This tart looks amazing…printing the recipe now…take care.

  29. Karis Ann says:

    I am amazed by your strength, and hope that cooking is helping the healing process.

  30. Dining Alone says:

    Sending you lots of strength and hugs.

  31. That Girl says:

    Those moments of being blindsided by memories/grief/intrusive thoughts are kind of common – and awful. It takes a while for them to space out.

  32. Hotly Spiced says:

    You are going through such a difficult time and I’m so sorry for you. By no way am I going through something similar but on Sunday night my mother had a fall and fractured her leg and has had surgery and will be in hospital and rehab for some time. It’s so awful and difficult seeing people you love very much start to decline. We age too quickly xx

  33. Blond Duck says:


    Money is pretty tight here with my freelancing drying up, but I want to help. What if I made you a painting of some whimsical pie or something and could sell it or you could auction it off and keep the proceeds for the race?

  34. Johanna GGG says:

    This is such a beautiful post that speaks about death in such a real way – it is hard to believe we live in a world where such terrible things can happy to those we love – and i think one of the difficult parts of this is that we remember over and over – warm wishes joanne – your commitment to the marathon in your father’s memory is a great way to make some meaning of it all.

  35. Jenn Kendall says:

    good luck reaching your goal Joanne! and such a wonderfully seasonal tart, looks delicious!

  36. Katie says:

    It’s amazing those situations that can be so comforting and so upsetting at the same time. Hopefully running this race (and eating this delicious looking tart) will provide a really nice outlet for those emotions.

  37. Natalie says:

    I always find that cooking takes you to such a nice place where you don’t have to think about anything else for a little while, and then have food to comfort you when you do think about it. I wish you luck in your race and fundraising!

  38. Catherine says:

    dear Joanne, This is a wonderful tart. It is colorful and healthy as well as I am sure delicious!
    I am sorry for the hurt. I know it is difficult. I have experienced it and it is true that some days are easier than other days. There is a quiet that fills your soul. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    Blessings dearest friend. Catherine xoxo

  39. Tandy says:

    There will always be sad days and sad moments {hugs} ps I shall try and figure out how to spend the money in my PayPal account to sponsor you!

  40. Rosa says:

    I’m so sorry about your dad. Missed your blog while you were gone, glad you’re back.

  41. Lynn says:

    I understand your pain all too well. (((HUGS)))

  42. Kari says:

    My heart missed a beat when I read the lines about you running into your Dad’s doctor, so I can only imagine what yours did. Tart making is crucial sometimes. Your marathon run is also beyond inspiring (it was before, now even more so) and I am clicking across to your fundraising site now.

  43. Megan says:

    I lost my sister in January to leukemia. She was only 23, and it all happened very fast. Sometimes I’m good at pretending it didn’t ever happen, too, but like you, I am blindsided by small things in my life that remind me. I will definitely be making a donation. Good luck on your run and thank you for all of your yummy recipes!

  44. This tart looks like the perfect comfort food. I can only imagine how you felt seeing the doctor. I hope you’re doing OK (or as OK as can be expected).


  45. Katerina says:

    It is amazing how some people come to our lives in specific moments of time. It resembles a play in a theater where we are the protagonists and several other actors come to and go out of the scene depending on their playing part. Only here the play is real life and the actors are we, ordinary people, who are faced with unexpected events! Cooking and baking is somewhat healing and the marathon and fund raising is a very honorable act on your behalf. The tart looks really good!

  46. daphne says:

    It’s always the “smaller” things that affect us isn’t it. The grief is there and some say it may never go completely. I say take it a day at a time joanne! 🙂 The tart looks amazingly good and I can see there is just something about rolling a tart out that feels good. Good luck with your run- will drop you an email soon as I will be around there that time! xx

  47. grace says:

    bless your heart, joanne–you’re really having to dig deep and i feel for you. stay strong!
    i’m so glad you have an outlet like cooking, and bonus–you’re amazing at it. this is a lovely tart!

  48. teresa says:

    eyes watering. you’re such a sweet girl. i’m so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing. it’s wonderful that you get to have this doctor in your life, even if it is in a small capacity.

    the tart looks wonderful! good luck with the race, what a wonderful cause!

  49. What a beautiful post. I hope that you’re doing ok with all that is going on. This tart has got to help – it really looks amazing!

  50. sophia says:

    Dear Joanne,
    This was a soulful post. I can’t imagine the depths to what you and your family are feeling right now, and the little triggers in life that bring flood of memories…I really want to give you a big, tight hug…

  51. Shannon says:

    this sounds like a big warm hug to me, this tart. but then that might also be weird if i want to eat it…

  52. I love how you manifested this experience into a big ole’ comforting dish of steaming, cheesy goodness. I commend what you are doing, my friend. Thank you for (always) taking us along with you on your personal journey.

  53. A beautiful and wholesome tart!
    Hope you would find some comfort in cooking and life brightens up tomorrow…at least a bit at a time.

  54. sandra says:

    This tart would be amazing as a pizza! I’ve been looking for good alternative toppings for a homemade one.

  55. My dear Joanne, I can only imagine the rush of emotion that floods through you every time you see this woman. XO I’ve been thinking of you so often this past week, wishing I could ease your pain, speed up the healing process, bring your wonderful Dad back for you. I’m so glad you had a Dad who loved you so fiercely, who was proud of you, and by being utterly himself gave you courage and freedom to be the you that we all love so much. Wishing you comfort and peace and eventually, much, much happiness again. XO

  56. I can’t wait to hear about how the marathon goes! I’m just excited for the Thanksgiving 5k I signed up for! Haha 😛

    Hopefully one day I’ll be marathon-ready, but it’s wonderful that you are running in honor of your Dad 🙂

  57. Natalie says:

    touching post–you are in my thoughts so much!! i know we’re just “blog friends” but don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever want to vent, share, cry, etc!!

  58. Joanne, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my dad twenty five years ago, and even now the last time I saw him is fresh in my memory. He’ll be with you always! Hugs to you. Lots of them.

  59. Reeni Pisano says:

    Baking is such an outlet – there’s something therapeutic in all of the measuring and mixing. I wish I had some words of wisdom. . . or a magic wand. . . all I have to offer is a virtual HUG and a little donation to your cause.

    Your tart is full of some of my very favorite things and looks utterly delicious!

  60. Cathleen says:

    This was such a touching post. I have stress baked on many an occasion when I felt overwhelmed or needed to punch something (anything with dough is always good)

  61. Mo 'Betta says:

    I’m sorry you have such a personal connection to cancer now. I’m walking for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during their Light the Night walks coming up b/c cancer research is what saves lives. I’m so sorry it was too late for your Dad, but as you know, the advances made everyday will save countless others. The form of Leukemia my Dad had was considered terminal 20 years ago. Such great strides have been made, but SO MUCH MORE is needed! Good luck with your fundraising! I will be thinking of you and your Dad during this years walk.

  62. I’m absolutely amazed by you. After all you been through, you’re still writing, going to school and running in a marathon. Thank you for inspiring us with your strength.

  63. Jeanette says:

    Such a touching post Joanne. There are so many questions unanswered when someone so loved leaves us, and the connections we make with people from that moment seem almost surreal at times. We’ll never fully understand why our loved ones are taken from us before we’re ready, but one day I believe we will. Cooking is therapy for me too so I can just imagine you rolling out the dough for this lovely tart.

  64. Lora says:

    Something so soothing about making a pie or tart. I found my solace in the kitchen when my husband was working in Iraq and I just couldn’t take the anxiety anymore. It was like a balm. Your harvest tart is lovely.

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