Tag Archives: Leeks

Spring Vegetable Tart

6 May

It is asparagus season, this makes me very happy. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables because it tastes great and can be used in so many different types of recipes. Asparagus is great all by itself, in a salad, hot or cold, roasted or steamed…I could go on forever.

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Now when most people think of tarts they think dessert, I know I always did, until I began to cook and opened my mind to all kinds of new things in the world of food. According to Wikipedia “a tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry.” So when I was looking for something to bring to my sisters that was a bit different than the usual, I found a recipe for an Asparagus Leek Tart, it was perfect.

Ingredients

4 small leeks or 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced and rinsed well

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into small pieces

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1 heaping tsp of fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme if you don’t have lemon thyme

1 tsp of fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp concentrated balsamic vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or line with foil and grease lightly with shortening or butter. Set aside.

 

Melt butter and olive oil together in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add leeks and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sauté for 10 minutes and remove from heat and keep to the side. While the leeks are cooking blanche the asparagus for two minutes in boiling water and then put into ice water to stop the cooking. Add asparagus to the leeks and set aside.

 

On a lightly floured surface roll out puff pastry dough into a rectangle and transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. Using a fork score around the edges to create a crust and pierce the dough all over so that it doesn’t puff up too much in the middle.  Bake for 10 minutes.

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While the pastry is cooking whisk together the eggs and milk in a mixing bowl until well combined. Add cheese, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

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Once the 10 minutes is up, remove the puff pastry from the oven and reduce heat to 400 degrees. Using a fork gently push the air out of the center of the dough so that it flattens in the center.

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Scatter the asparagus and leeks evenly on the dough, pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables. Bake for 20 to 25 until set. Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle with concentrated balsamic vinegar, serve and enjoy!

 

Thank you The Life Jolie for this delicious recipe!

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Potato Leek Cheesy Goodness!

24 Apr
 
My Family-Easter 1970

Happy Easter Everyone! My favorite holiday.  Some people are surprised to hear that, but it’s true. The pretty pastel colors, baskets filled with goodies, bunnies and the fact that spring is here and the trees and flowers are blooming-that is why I love it. And the fact that a big meal with great food is involved also makes it a favorite.  In my house growing up we usually had 2 big meals for Easter-breakfast and dinner.

Now with everyone having their own families things are different, my husband and I go to his mother’s house where we have their traditional meal of breakfast and dinner together. Yep, that’s right breakfast and dinner in one meal, it was his fathers doing and they have kept the tradition going now for years.  It consists of everything from a turkey and ham to fried eggs, stuffing and hash browns.  You never leave hungry.

This year I wanted to do an “Easter” dinner for my husband and I last night, but wanted to do a little something different and while going through my recipe notebook I stumbled upon a recipe for Potato-Leek Gratin that I had ripped out of a William-Sonoma catalog. So off I go to the super market to get the ingredients.  This dish required quite a bit of cooking time so while the ham was baking I started to make the gratin and when I went to grate the cheese I realized I bought Gouda instead of Gruyère-UGH!  So, with leeks all set and the potatoes sliced, off I go to the market again! I had thrown my receipt away but the woman was kind and took pity on me as I told her I was in the middle of cooking and she let me exchange but they were out of Gruyère, how does that happen!? Not really sure what to do I grabbed a block of swiss somehow remembering that Gruyère is in the swiss cheese family and a block of monterey jack for its creaminess-it will have to do. Well, let me tell you that it was amazing! One look at my husbands face as he ate the steaming hot mass of what we call cheesy goodness was all I needed. Try it for yourself and you too will be amazed. Just one thing about the recipe that I didn’t do was add the nutmeg, just didn’t seem like it fit.

                                                                                                                           

                                               Cheesy Potato Goodness

 

Potato-Leek Gratin

5 Tbs unsalted butter                                                                       

4 lb leeks, white and light green portions, rinsed well, cut into 1/4″rings

1 1/2 Tbs kosher salt

1 tsp minced fresh thyme

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 tsp pepper

1 cup heavy cream

6 oz grated Gruyère cheese-grated

3 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese-grated

3 lb russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4″ slices

3 Tbs minced fresh chives

In a 12″ nonstick fry pan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs butter.  Add leeks and salt, stirring to coat leeks with butter. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add thyme, nutmeg, pepper and cream. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to bowl; let cool. Wipe out pan; grease with 1 Tbs butter.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl combine cheeses.  Layer one-third of potatoes in fry pan (I used a casserole dish-much prettier). Spread one-third of leek mixture on potatoes.  Sprinkle with one-third of cheeses then 1 Tbs chives.  Repeat layering 2 more times, reserving 1 Tbs chives.  Cover pan; transfer to oven.  Bake 45 minutes. Remove lid;bake until potatoes are tender and crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes more. Sprinkle remaining chives on top, let stand 15 minutes before serving…or try to anyway. Serves 8 to 10.

Happy Eating!

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