04 June 2010

Broccoli, Leek and Goat Cheese Tart

Broccoli. Probably the most under-rated vegetable ever, with the possible exception of beets. What’s not to like? It’s full of vitamins and minerals, it’s low in calories, and it goes with almost everything. OK, not with ice cream, but with most vegetables.

Leeks. One of my all-time favorites. We always have leeks in the house. I love their gentle, garlicky, oniony flavor. They smell soooo good when they’re cooking that the neighbors are sure to stop by to see what’s on the stove.

Goat cheese, Chevre. Food of the gods, truly. Fresh, its mild flavor is a good mix with many sweet and savory dishes. Aged, it packs a punch that can stand up to any blue cheese on a cheese plate.

Yes, yes, ok. Now we know that you like these things, Kate, but will they really go together in a tart? OF COURSE THEY DO. Ahem. Sorry for shouting. We like this tart a lot. It’s good hot or at room temperature, it has crunch and veggies and goat cheese. I mean, aside from chocolate, what more could you want?

This tart with a salad makes a nice lunch or a light dinner. Made in smaller portions, it’s a perfect appetiser for a summer meal. Here I’ve added some prosciutto to dress it up a little. I like the fact that it uses all of the broccoli--including the stems.

What are you waiting for?

Broccoli, Leek and Goat Cheese Tart

1 head broccoli (about 500 g / 1 pound)
1 large leek
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
100 g / 4 oz mild goat cheese
200 g / 8 oz Puff Pastry
4 slices proscuitto (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 180 C / 375 F
  • Cut the tops off the broccoli and put them in a steamer pan. Peel the stem, cut it into chunks and add it to the pan.
  • Cover and steam the broccoli until it’s really soft. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  • Cut the coarse tops off the leek and cut it in half lengthwise. Holding it together, clean it well under running water to remove the sand that lurks between the layers.
  • Cut across the leeks to cut them into half-rounds.
  • Heat a pan large enough to hold the leeks. Add the olive oil and the leeks. Cook on medium heat till the leeks are soft and the green parts are bright green.
  • Put the broccoli into a bowl and mash it with a potato masher or a fork.
  • Reserve some of the green leeks and add the rest to the broccoli along with the goat cheese and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the puff pastry on a baking sheet with either baking parchment or a silpat. Add the broccoli mixture, making sure to leave a 1 cm / 1/2 inch border all around.
  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the pastry is browned.
  • Garnish with the reserved green leeks and proscuitto, if desired.

Serves 4 if they like it and 10 if they don’t.

  • You can, of course, make this in other shapes, or in regular tart shells.
  • It’s possible to boil the broccoli instead of steaming it, but it loses some of its flavor. If you do this, be sure to drain it well so that the mixture isn’t soggy.
  • I don’t recommend mashing the broccoli with anything mechanical, because you really want it sort of chunky and not pureed.


Pam said...

Looks yummy! The only thing I might do differently is let the proscuitto cook with the tart. I like my proscuitto kind of crispy. Do you think that would work?

Susan @ The Spice Garden said...

Hi Kate! Looks lovely! Think I'll copy this one and set it aside for when the broccoli comes in from the garden or Farmer's Market ...

Stella said...

Tart sounds delicious, Kate. I wish I made something like this yesterday instead of ordering pizza (ugh, I was tired). And broccoli is so good-I've never understood why so many people don't like it. I have a theory that people who come from families that bought/buy only frozen and canned vegetables are typically against veggies (maybe???).

Linda said...

Kate this looks absolutely delicious...I have not had breakfast yet and I would not mind a slice of this right this moment!
Gorgeous pics!

Sophie said...

Oooh,..dear Kate!!

This hearty tarte looks quite fab & looks extremely tasty too!

Lovely pictures too!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Oh how I wish you had a subscribe to by e-mail plug in so I would never miss your new posts. This tart is a work of art. I just went over and view your paintings. What a gift you have. I love them all. I have always been into portraits myself, so those are what I love. I am now going to look at the other posts I have been missing.

Barbara said...

So pretty, Kate! Isn't frozen puff pastry the best thing?? I made an apricot galette with it today, took all of 10 minutes!
So clever to mash the broccoli with goat cheese for your base. I adore leeks and proscuitto. Guess I will make this with the other half of my puff pastry! :)

Hungry Dog said...

Looks lovely, Kate. I wish I were your neighbor so I could stop by casually one day when you're making something fabulous like this and just eat it without going to the trouble of making it. Although I suppose the puff pastry cuts down on the time. Anyway. The point is: looks great. I want it.

The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

If I lived next door, I'm sure I'd come sniffing around while you were cooking this! Looks incredible.

The Gypsy Chef said...

I love all of the ingredients in this tart! All of them. I've made a wild mushroom and goat cheese tart but never added leeks. I will now.
BTW the snaps are beautiful.
I have a friend interested in the Italian language school you attended. I wonder, is there a pasta school there?
So looking forward to August!

~~louise~~ said...

Now, frozen puff pastry, I may be able to handle, maybe.

For some reason, I just never think to buy leek. I should remedy that soon. I do, however, agree, broccoli and beets and sometimes cauliflower very under rated.

Your tart looks delicious, Kate. I'd love to try it someday.

Thanks for sharing...

The Domestic Adventurer said...

My oh my, I may have to give this a try. Looks fabulous! And I love the simplicity of the ingredients.