Leeks spring up in the CSA Boxes throughout the main season and I’m looking forward to them in the Winter Shares as well. Leeks thrive in cool weather making them an ideal crop this time of year. I actually first made this savory tart at Easter, but it’s become a quick favorite. The ingredients are simple, straightforward, and buttery! The simplicity of this recipe really showcases the leeks and gruyere. This is the second recipe I’ve posted using gruyere lately, and it really is a flavorful cheese. Seek it out if you have not tried it. I picked this up at Wegman’s where they had 3 different types ranging in price and quality. The low end works fine for me, but sometimes I splurge on the mid-range. A little goes a long way in terms of flavor!
There are a lot of different ways to clean and prep leeks. You can find great instructions here, if you have never done it before. For purely aesthetic reasons I like to slice the leeks in rings for dishes like this. To do this, I remove the top leaves and the bottom where the roots attach, then thinly slice. Place the sliced leeks in a bowl, fill with cold water, swish around and drain. If there is a lot of dirt do this several times until the water runs clear.
As for the crust, there are a few options. I use my favorite spelt crust recipe, as we have some dietary limitations in our household. This is a rich buttery crust that I use for everything sweet or savory. It works well with whole or white spelt flour. I also love that I can use local Farmer Ground Flour with it. You can sub all-purpose or whole wheat flour. If you have a favorite pate brisee that works great use it, white or whole wheat. Puff pastry will also work perfectly as well as layers of phyllo with butter brushed in between (I have actually used this and it’s great). All you need is a flaky backdrop for the leeks and cheese. Making crust in a food processor also helps keep everything nice and cold which yields a delicate flaky crust.
Once you decide which crust to use this tart comes together so simply. Finely grated gruyere is topped with the sautéed leeks and baked.
Leek Gruyere Tart
Your favorite pie crust or prepared puff pastry or phyllo dough
3 leeks, washed and finely chopped
2-4 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup finely grated gruyere
sprinkle salt + pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F
Saute leeks. Melt butter over medium heat and sprinkle with just a bit of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, until just done.
Prepare crust. Lay in a 10 inch quiche pan or free form on a baking sheet. Spread finely grated gruyere in an even layer over the top. Carefully add sautéed leeks. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Cool before serving.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or a combination of white & whole wheat or spelt)
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 – 8 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Pulse all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle with vinegar and ¼ cup ice water. Mix with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful if needed, just until the dough comes together; lightly knead until no dry spots remain (do not overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour.
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