LEEK, CHARD & WILD GARLIC TART

Leek, Chard, & Wild Garlic Tart

A few weeks ago, B said that she wanted to try and perfect a vegetable tart.  Second attempt in, she baked something really, really good.  Perfection, of course, is relative, but this was everything we wanted, eaten cooled the next day as part of a very successful picnic.  The greens cooked down into a soft, fresh tasting mass, the garlic came through really well, but without any harshness, and the feta and olives added savoury, salty depth.  The only creative input from my side was the topping of pine nuts and parmesan to give a little extra something to a tart which was obviously already going to be pretty magnificent, if you like that kind of thing.

The pastry recipe and inspiration for the tart filling (she has a recipe for a leek and goats’ cheese tart) both came from good ol’ Delia.

 

 

Ingredients

For the pastry:

50g butter, removed from the fridge for twenty minutes

110g plain flour, plus a little extra

Pinch of salt

Some cold water

 

For the filling:

2 baby leeks, tough green ends discarded, sliced into half moons

About 100g chard leaves (remove the stems to use in another recipe), roughly chopped

2 handfuls wild garlic leaves, roughly chopped

1 tbsp. thyme leaves

About 12 kalamata olives, pitted and halved

100g feta cheese, half crumbled and half cubed (kept separate)

3 eggs, beaten

200g crème fraiche (we used half fat)

20g parmesan

15g pine nuts

1 tbsp. oil

 

Method

For the pastry:

 

First, make the pastry (you can do this a few hours in advance (or overnight) – just remember to remove from the fridge for about half an hour before rolling out.)  From a good height, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Cut the butter into small cubes, and add the the flour.  Mix a little with a knife, before starting to gently rub the butter in, using your fingertips.  Lift it up as you rub, and drop it back into the bowl, ensuring that the air keeps getting incorporated into the mix.

When the pastry is just rubbed in (it’s ok if there’s the odd bit of crumbly lumps remaining), sprinkle over a tablespoon of cold water.  Use a knife to bring the pastry mix together, the continue with your fingers.  Keep adding water, little by little, until all of the dough has come together.  Cover the pastry in cling film and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes (if using straight away) or longer if you’re preparing in advance.

Remove the ball of pastry from the cling film, and flatten it out a little.  Roll it out, using plenty of flour on your work surface and rolling pin, turning it often (and re-flouring when needed) to get a round shape.  When the pastry is rolled out enough to fit your dish, lightly grease the dish and then enlist an extra pair of hands, if needs be, to help you lift it in (this is where I think I was most useful!)  Gently ease the pastry in to the dish, carefully using your fingertips to tuck it into the edges.  Trim any pastry that flops over the top, but leave a little extra in case it shrinks in the oven.  Then, prick the pastry all over with a fork, brush with a little beaten egg (taken from the eggs you’ll be using for the filling) and bake in an oven preheated to 180ºC for about twenty minutes, until golden brown and a little crisp.

 

For the filling:

In a large saucepan, fry the leeks over a medium heat, stirring now and then, for about ten minutes.  After this time, add the chard and the wild garlic leaves, and continue to cook down until everything has softened down well and released its moisture.  Stir through the thyme leaves, then season well with pepper.  Place a sieve over a bowl, and put the greens into the sieve, using the base of a small bowl to press all of the liquid out.

Next, add the beaten eggs to a medium bowl along with the crème fraiche and stir together.  Add the drained greens, olives, and the crumbled feta, and stir until well mixed.  Pour this over the blind-baked pastry, then evenly distribute and poke down the cubes of feta.  Finally, grate over the parmesan and sprinkle over the pine nuts.  Bake for about thirty minutes, until the filling has puffed up, turned golden, and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leek, Chard, & Wild Garlic Tart

Leek, Chard, & Wild Garlic Tart

 

 

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19 comments

  1. Perfect for the wild garlic growing rampant in my herb garden! Made a leek tart over the weekend, but wished now that I had had your recipe. It looks so good. Love the half fat creme fraiche – makes you feel virtuous while still being a little naughty!

    1. Exactly! It feels like so many tart/quiche recipes call for double cream, which we try and avoid (unless we’re making a decadent pud, of course…) Years and years ago, I used to make a tart with yoghurt, milk and eggs – would like to try that again. And the wild garlic – I love it, I’ll be going on a picking spree at the weekend – weather permitting, of course!

  2. Looks beautiful – sounds divine!

  3. I just adore savory tarts like this, I even enjoy them cold and packed in a lunch. Love the combination of ingredients you used here. Well done!

  4. Yum. This looks great. Perfect for spring. I love the way you eat.

  5. I’ve been looking for some wild garlic all over the place. Can’t find some anywhere. I like the way that the garlic and chard go together. Here’s my chard and blue cheese tarts recipe – http://spadeforkspoon.com/2014/03/29/little-swiss-chard-and-stilton-tarts/

    1. Yeah, I commented on those delicious looking tarts when you posted them 😉

      I know what you mean about the wild garlic – I do hope people haven’t been pulling up the bulbs. Came across a decent sized patch the other day along with a carpet of violets but sadly most was at dog level! Have you looked in shady, wooded areas?

  6. Oh yes! This is a wonderful pie. I’ll have to try your filling recipe. I’m sort of like B right now…trying to perfect a savory pie. Interesting we both made a spring vegetable pie this weekend! 🙂 Love the pine nuts on it too!

  7. Love these ingredients! How fabulous in a tart shell.

  8. Even though I don’t have the availability of wild garlic, this is a tart that I will enjoy making.

  9. Are you foraging for wild garlic leaves? I thought I’d hit upon a little bit of a goldmine last week when out traipsing around. But they turned out to be wild leeks. Anyway, nice choices for the tart. And I know I probably shouldn’t admit this but you’re right, good ol’ Delia. It’s usually her site that I head to for pragmatic advice. Don’t care if she wore frilly blouses!

    1. Hang on – can you please enlighten me as to exactly how wild leeks themselves don’t count as a bit of a goldmine? I’ve never come across those, I wonder if they grow in the south east… I’d gladly trade you some garlic for your leeks. I’m hopefully going to get a harvest of wild garlic at the weekend if the weather holds and we manage to fit in some traipsing of our own!

  10. So many of my favorite things in one dish – olives, feta, leeks and cheese – I’ll be making this for dinner soon.

    1. I hope you enjoy!

  11. This looks gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Amy – give it a go!

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