I adore leeks. I first really got to know them when I lived in Germany. My host family taught me how to cook them slowly without browning and finish with cream and smoked salmon to serve over pasta – so so so good. I could eat the ‘sauce’ all by itself. Leeks appeared in my Farm Fresh to You box this week and I couldn’t have been more excited. My mind immediately went to that good ol’ pasta topping, but I also had other aspirations for what I could do with this green onion relative.
I love how leeks have that mild onion flavor and get really sweet when you cook them down. As I was perusing a variety of recipes, I found this leek and goat cheese tart that reminded me in the slightest of caramelized onion flatbread and I was even more excited that I would be able to use the remains of the goat cheese log from my birthday. I even labored over home-made crust since I don’t own the recommended food processor – though I must admit I have become somewhat of an expert at cutting in butter with my fingers after this past year of cooking adventures.
The end result of the time and love was an absolutely delicious, with the sweet leeks and sharp goat cheese balancing out each other just right. To give you some perspective, when I have left overs I usually eat them for 3 meals at the most… say a dinner, a lunch and another lunch or dinner. I ate this tart for about 4.5 meals: dinner, lunch (a sliver for breakfast too), dinner and lunch. I couldn’t keep it out of my mouth. You layer goat cheese and leek confit and cover the whole things with a milk/cream/egg mixture. It’s a bit remaniscent of a quiche, but less eggy and definitely still worth every bit. It would make a great appetizer, cut into bite size pieces too. I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but there are a slew of holiday parties right around the corner for which this would be a fantastic addition.
ALSO – After a year of blogging, I finally figured out how to take non-yellow photos in my kitchen! In honor of this finding, I’m happy to present to you “Leek and Goat Cheese Tart: A Photo Montage”:
Leek and Goat Cheese Tart:
- 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
- 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheesechèvre
- 1-1 1/2 cups Leek Confit, depending on how many leeks you used *recipe below
Combine 4 tablespoons ice water and cider vinegar in small bowl. Blend flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with finger tips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Slowly add water-vinegar mixture, mixing only until moist clumps form. If dough seems dry, add ice water by teaspoonfuls.
Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Allow dough to soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Roll dough out on lightly floured work surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan. Press dough onto bottom and up sides. Fold in overhang and press to extend dough 1/2 inch above sides of pan. Line pan with foil and dried beans, pie weights or rice. Bake until dough looks dry and set, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and beans and continue to bake until crust is pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool while preparing filling.
- Whisk milk, cream, egg, egg yolk, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over bottom of warm crust; spread leek confit over and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Pour milk mixture over to fill to the top (you may not need all the liquid). Bake until filling has puffed, is golden in spots, and center looks set, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3-4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Melt butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Stir in water and salt. Cover pot; reduce heat to low. Cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Uncover and cook to evaporate excess water, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled. Rewarm before using.