Leek tarts are wonderful for starters and light spring lunches. Actually, you can make these with any seasonal vegetable and cheese you like. Feel free to experiment! But in April we like to focus on seasonal vegetables, leeks are often tossed into dishes for flavouring but rarely celebrated in their own right.
For the homemade tapenade, you can make a rough version by crushing the nuts and garlic in a pestle and mortar and finely chopping the olives. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, seasoning to taste. Or get out the food processor for a quick whizz!
Leek Tart with Green Olive Tapenade
- 1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry
- 4 to 5 leeks (if they are large you many need fewer)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chopped thyme
- salt and pepper
- 200ml white wine
- olive tapenade (homemade or shop bought)
- 250g cashew or curd cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180Fan.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment
- Lay the pastry onto the parchment, score a boarder 1cm in from the edge and prick all over the central area with a fork.
- Bake the pastry for 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Meanwhile, cut the roots and the greens off of the leeks.
- Slice the white part in 1/4 inch rounds.
- Steam the leeks over a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes until they are soft.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add the leeks, thyme, and salt and pepper.
- Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and simmer just until the wine evaporates.
- To construct the tart: spread the tapenade on the cooked pastry. Cover with the leeks and than evenly with the cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted slightly and started to brown on top.
- Tips: You can make tarts with any seasonal vegetable you like, change the tapenade to a pesto or keep it simple and just use vegetables and herbs. Some of our favourites are roasted squash and red pepper or wild mushroom in autumn, asparagus in the spring and cherry tomato and spinach in summer-feel free to experiment. Individual puff tartlets are great for starters and picnics.