Leek Tart

Leek Tart. Photo © Molly Watson
    60 mins
Ratings

Transform humble leeks and a bit of cheese into much more than the sum of their parts with this easy tart. Serve it as an elegant lunch, a simple starter, or as the centerpiece to a casual dinner - just add a green salad or something like an Escarole & Beet Salad.

Use your favorite store-bought crust or make your own. I like Buttery Tart Crust or Whole Wheat Buttermilk Crust.

What You'll Need

  • 5 medium leeks*
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup half-and-half or cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tart crust (see notes above)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup freshly grated and highly flavorful cheese - Gruyère or Parmesan, cook's choice

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven 375°F. Clean the leeks, remove the root end and dark green leaves, halve them lengthwise, and cut them into thin slices. Rinse any grit off the sliced leeks, if necessary.
  2. Melt the butter in a large frying pan or saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and sprinkle them with the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the half-and-half or cream. Reduce the heat to low and let cook to blend the flavors and reduce the liquid, about 5 minutes. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the pepper. Taste the mixture and add more salt and pepper to taste, if you like.
  1. Lay the crust in a 9-inch round tart pan (or similar). Let the crust fall into place, gently moving it into the edges without stretching the dough (stretching now will cause it to shrink as it bakes).
  2. Add the leek mixture to the crust, and spread it in an even layer. Sprinkle it with the cheese. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet, just to be safe and keep you from having to clean your oven in case of a boil-over. Bake the tart until it's bubbly and golden, about 35 minutes.
  3. Let the tart sit at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve it hot, warm, or at room temperature. This flexibility is part of the magic of this tart: it works for a simple dinner or luncheon, as well as a buffet table or a potluck party.

* No leeks? Two large onions will stand the in the leeks' stead. The final tart won't have that lovely sweet edge or be quite as delicately flavored, but it will still be remarkably delicious and well worth your effort. Just be sure to cook the onions until they are very soft and starting to turn a tad golden, more like 15 or even 20 minutes instead of just 10 as for leeks.