Leek Tart with Feta and Dill

My love for savory tarts is no secret. You can find me whipping one up in any season and any occasion. I love them as an appetizer, side dish or main course, whether it’s a summery Tomato Tarte Tatin or a comforting winter Beet & Goat Cheese Tart with Walnut-Rosemary Crust.

I always opt for seasonal vegetables, based whatever looks good at the market (or whatever is starting to get old in my refrigerator), fresh eggs from happy chickens, and a soft, flavorful cheese. While choosing what goes into the filling is important, don’t overlook the importance of the crust! Yes, we all use those store-bought rolls of puff pastry in a pinch, but the result is incomparable to a homemade crust. If you have the time I strongly suggest you try making the crust using the recipe below, you won’t regret it.

Leek Tart with Feta and Dill

recipe adapted from FoodRepublic

For the crust

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (160 g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 115 g) butter, chilled and cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For the filling

  • 2 large leeks, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (200 g) Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) crumbled feta
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, diced Italian parsley
  • freshly grated nutmeg

First, make the crust: All the ingredients must be cold to avoid a tough crust. Chill the flour in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The butter pieces should be chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes before use.

In a food processor with a metal blade, briefly pulse together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and quickly pulse until chunks are the size of peas. Add vinegar and smallest amount ice water, and pulse briefly. Mixture will be powdery but should hold together when pinched. Add more water and pulse again if necessary.

Transfer to a plastic bag and briefly knead from outside of bag until mixture holds together. Divide dough evenly and form into two balls, wrap with plastic and flatten into disks. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (preferably overnight) before rolling out and baking.

When you’re ready to bake the tart, heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Roll the dough out on a lightly floured countertop into a generous round, about 11 inches (28cm) in diameter. Fit it into an 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) round tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the edge, leaving a 1-inch overhang, then tuck the overhanging dough into the pan, pressing it against the sides. Prick the base of the tart all over with a fork. Line with a large sheet of parchment and fill with pie weights (or dried beans and rice). Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the parchment and beans. Bake the empty pastry shell for 10 minutes more; the crust should be golden and cooked through.

Meanwhile make the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the sliced leeks with a pinch salt and several grinds of black pepper, and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Crack the eggs into a bowl and gently whisk until well combined. Whisk in the yogurt, crumbled feta, dill, parsley, a pinch of salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Scrape the leeks into the bowl and stir together. Pour the egg mixture into the tart shell and bake until set and the edges are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

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