Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Leek Tart (with my homegrown leeks!)

Yes, we have leeks in my militant community garden. They have been buried deep down in the soil for months and are finally ready to harvest. I am only going to pull a few at a time, so I can savor them.

Why are leeks so expensive at the grocery store? A small bunch is about $7. and most of the weight is in the leaves, which are discarded!

I say, grow your own.

You can add bacon to this recipe and make this a flammekueche, but I wanted to showcase the buttery leeks on their own.

You can use store bought pie crust, but I made an easy olive oil crust that came out perfect.

Olive Oil Pie Crust: (adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini)

- 250 grams (8.8 ounces about 2 cups) light whole wheat flour, or a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and whole wheat
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs (I use rosemary or thyme)
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) cold water

Grease a 10" tart pan lightly if it doesn't have a nonstick coating (a pie plate is fine).

Combine the flour, salt, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix it in with a fork. Add the water, mix with the fork until it is absorbed, then knead lightly (I do this with just one hand, in the bowl) until the dough comes together into a ball.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on the ball of dough and on the rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a circle large enough to fit your tart pan. Turn the dough by 45 degrees (a quarter of a circle) every time you roll the pin and back, adding a little more flour underneath and on the dough when it seems on the verge of becoming sticky. Don't overwork the dough.

Transfer the dough carefully into the prepared pan and line it neatly. Trim the excess dough (re-roll it and cut into decorative shapes to top the tart), and place the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

The directions say to prebake the pie crust for 15 minutes, but honestly, I never do, I just cook it raw with the filling and it always comes out cooked and brown. Oh well.

Leek Filling:

4-5 large leeks, white parts only
1/4 lb. bacon, cooked crisp (optional)
3 eggs
1 cup of sour cream or creme fraiche
handful of fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp butter

Make the custard by whisking the creme fraiche, eggs and thyme together. Season w/ a pinch of salt.

Slice the leeks into thin rounds and saute on medium heat in butter for about 10 minutes, until leeks are soft, but not brown. Add a pinch of salt to the leeks while cooking.

Lay the cooked leeks and cooked bacon (if using) on the bottom of the pastry shell and pour the custard on top.

Bake in a 350F oven for 35-40 minutes until top is brown and puffy.

Let rest on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before slicing.


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Katie C. said...

Looks yummy! Yesterday I made a frittata with farmer's market zucchini, onion, and my own thyme. I love being able to go outside and just harvest some. Do you dry any of your herbs? If so, when do you start to harvest them? I've got chives, tarragon (this one's new for me this year), basil (well, that one's for pesto), several types of thyme, oregano and marjorum. How difficult is it to grow leeks and do you think you can freeze them, maybe after you saute them?

Marolleke said...

Dear Stacey,

I am a fan of your blog. I live in the Netherlands.
I know you like Paris. You should check out the following site www.rachelkhoo.com/tv

It's about a young British woman who started a tiny restaurant (only room for 2 guests) in her apartment in Paris and has now become a famous chef. The British BBC television made a nice series about her. If you click on " tv" you can watch parts of the episodes.
Best regards.

Stacey Snacks said...

I LOVE Rachel Khoo and wrote a post on her a few months back....


Unfortunately, we don't get the BBC show here in the states, so I have to watch it on You Tube!
Many thanks!

Stacey Snacks said...

Katie C.

You have to plant the leeks in the spring, very deep in the ground, and they took a long time to mature, it seems......about freezing them, I would say not, it would be like freezing onions, and they would get mushy for sure!


Christine said...

This looks so good! Wish I could reach through the screen for a slice! Will be bookmarking it for Nov. when I can once again turn on the oven. It's been in the 100's for several weeks now. Too gross.

Joanne said...

For some reason I always thought of leeks as coming into season in the spring but then I spied local ones at my supermarket just last weekend! This tart looks excellent.

Andrea said...

Hmmm my dough was super wet and impossible to roll out. I had to stick it in the tart pan and press it out. :/

Dana said...

Leeks are one of my very favorite vegetables and totally overlooked in our country. I always use them in my cooking classes and most people don't know how to cook and/or eat them. This is my favorite way!

Chris & Janine said...

Boy, a big slice of your Leek Tart and a glass of Pouilly Fuisse and I'd be set for the enite day! Thank you for posting the recipe. It looks great!

We noticed you didn't provide any directions on cleaning the leeks. As you know sometimes they can be very dirty. We posted some quick directions on our fledgling blog a few months back. Perhaps your readers might find it useful. The URL is provided below.


BTW - We also hail from the great state of New Jersey. Our blog is focused on recipes and restaurant reviews from Monmouth County. We are new to blogging so any advise or feedback you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Chris & Janine


Stacey Snacks said...

Hi Andrea,
Not sure why your dough was so wet, I made it again today with a different filling, and all was ok.
I posted Chocolate & Zucchini's olive oil herb crust for you try next time, it uses less oil.

sixty-five said...

Last time I was at Trader Joe's in Milburn I snagged a packet of frozen sliced leek whites for $1.50. Very useful indeed!

Marie said...

I love leeks and don't use them often enough. This looks wonderful.