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.