Thanks for everyone who wondered where I was and asking why there was no new post for some weeks. Please be sure of that it is also difficult for me too and I really feel guilty when I gave such long breaks but sometimes my other life (the one in the office) leaves almost no time to spend at home and consequently in the kitchen. In any case, make sure that I am here to stay and this kitchen will never close down.
Putting all boring office situations, sleepless nights and never ending business presentations aside, there are good things in life: like the upcoming spring and longer days thanks to daytime saving. For me, this is the best time of the year and I am ready to save each and every minute just to live the day a bit longer. I would be more than happy if we put our clocks two hours forward!
Even though spring is about to show its smiling face, weather is still a bit cold in Istanbul. We shiver under a shining sun and still look for a table outside to sip our coffee with a meaningless urge to behave as if it was not cold as marble. When it comes to food market, most of the winter veggies live their last two weeks before they disappear till next winter. The truth is I am still in love with them and don’t want to say goodbye.
Leek is one of those winter vegetables and it makes a legendary couple with carrot that I cannot think of them separately. This might have rooted in my childhood memories since my mom used to cook leek in mediterranean style; sautéing leeks with a generous amount of olive oil, adding chopped carrots and cooking further with some rice. Though I was not in love with the smell coming out of kitchen I could not resist when it came out of the fridge on the other day with a dash of lemon juice. Some dishes taste even more delicious when you eat on the second day and leek makes a good example for that.
It is also good for people who do not like onions since it has a milder flavor compared to onion and not overpowering too. Anyone avoiding onions might rehearse with leek to get used to onion family. Leek is also a rich fiber source, which is quite beneficial for your diet. High potassium and mineral content makes these stalks a ”must eat” during its season. Leek is frequently used in French cuisine especially in soups.
However, I had an idea of a winter vegetable tart in mind rather than a soup and a large piece of fresh and creamy goat cheese in my refrigerator to be consumed. You may use my ”never fails tart dough recipe” and create your own combinations afterwards, but give this one a go first and let it blow your mind. Leek, carrot, fresh goat cheese and rosemary goes so well that you won’t believe your eyes when you see the emptied tart tin within minutes.
So here comes the recipe and there goes the winter away!
Ingredients (for 6 people)
- For Filling
- 5 stalks of leek
- 3 mid sized carrots
- 250 g. (8.8 oz) freash goat cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 175 ml (6 fl. oz) milk
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- 100 g. (3.5 oz) butter
- 2 large eggs
- 245 g. (8.6 oz) whole wheat flour
- 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
|1.||Preheat oven to 160C (320F).|
|2.||Add whole wheat flour, 2 large eggs salt and butter in a large mixing bowl and start kneading it with your hand (you can use a stand mixer for that purpose too).|
|3.||When the dough comes together and forms a ball without sticking to the sides of the bowl transfer it on a floured surface. Spread the dough with a roller until you reach a circle with enough size to cover a 9-inch (around 23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom (you may also use a rectangular tart mold like the one I used). Place the rolled tart dough in your mold and cut the excess outer parts.|
|4.||Prick all over the dough with a toothpick or with the tines of a fork (this is a crucial step, otherwise your crust will have an uneven form due to bubbles and crackles formed during baking )and bake the crust in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until it gains a golden color. Remove the mold from the oven and keep it aside to cool down.|
|5.||Chop leek stalks into 2.5 cm (1 inch) pieces. Peel the carrots and keep them in boiling water until they become a bit tender then chop. Add olive oil in a heavy skillet placed on medium heat and sauté leeks and carrots for 5-6 minutes. Set aside to cool.|
|6.||In a large mixing bowl add fresh goat cheese and smash with a fork. Add 2 eggs, sautéed leek and carrots, milk, salt, pepper, finely chopped rosemary sprigs and mix until everything is well combined.|
|7.||Pour the filling on your cool crust and place some more rosemary on top of it. Place your tart mold into oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes at 160C (320F).|