This tart is something I’ve had an image of in my mind for ages. The intertwined leeks had been playing up in my brain for so long that, when it came to trying it out, I seemed to already have done it a thousand times before…! It is as a friend of mine once said: if I’m not making food, talking about food, or eating food…well, the list of things I may be doing shrinks considerably.
This is lovely and fragrant and keeps very well in the fridge. The base is satisfying and just rich enough, a bit like a savoury shortbread biscuit. Keep the cheese out if you want to make it dairy free. I’d like to try making a vegan version at some point, but haven’t tried yet! If you do – let me know how it goes.
Lattice Leek and Mushroom tart
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup buckwheat flour
Good pinch of salt
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp potato starch
80g cold butter or coconut oil
4-5 tbsp cold water
2tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 1/2 leeks, peel off the outer layers only
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 flat or portobello mushrooms
5-6 long cavolo nero leaves, chopped (spinach, chard or kale would also work)
4 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper
A small glug of white wine (optional)
3 organic, free-range eggs
125g organic crumbly goat’s cheese (optional)
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp of milk (I used hemp)
Start with the crust. In a bowl, add the ground almonds, buckwheat flour, salt, thyme and potato starch. Mix well. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the bowl. Crumble the mixture together using your fingers until it reaches a sandy consistency. Add the water, one spoonful at a time, mixing in between – you may not need the full 4 or 5 spoons, depending on the humidity in your kitchen. The dough should come together into a ball when you press it, but shouldn’t be too sticky. Make a ball or disc out of it and wrap it in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30mins.
Turn the oven on at 180ºC. While the dough chills, prepare the filling. Add the chopped onion and sliced leek to a saucepan with the olive or coconut oil and let cook until soft on a medium heat. Add the cavolo nero and the mushrooms and continue cooking until soft and fragrant. Add the thyme leaves, salt and pepper, and cook further, until all the liquid has evaporated and the cavolo nero has turned a lovely intense and shiny green. Now add the white wine if using, turn the heat up slightly and cook it off until reduced and almost no liquid remains. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Once the dough is chilled, line a round tart or cake tin with baking paper, making sure it spills out of the edges – so you can easily pull out the tart once it’s done. Press the dough into the tin, making it even and smooth with your hands and/or the back of a wet spoon. Prick with a fork and pre-bake in the oven for 10mins.
Beat the eggs in a bowl with the milk. Add the crumbled goat’s cheese if using and mix. Pour in the leek and mushroom mixture and stir it all together.
Once the base is pre-baked, remove it from the oven (but leave the oven on). Peel off the outer layers of the remaining leeks. Don’t use the inner layers as they are a bit too tough for the lattice top.
Pour the filling into the tart crust and start making the lattice top. You can draw the leek layers as close together or far apart as you wish – I like them quite tightly weaved in this tart. If you’re new to lattice tops, this video by Food52 is a really helpful visual guide.
Bake for 20-30mins or until firm and golden. Serve with a crispy, peppery rocket salad with a vinaigrette dressing (my next recipe! Keep an eye out.)