4 hours ago
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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.
4-5 large leeks, white parts only
1/4 lb. bacon, cooked crisp (optional)
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.