Early spring is an exciting time at the market, especially when I come across my first bunch of agretti. Also known as saltwort or monk’s beard, these salty-tasting, waxy, grassy greens grow in costal areas of the Mediterranean, and are available only for a fleeting month in early spring. They are wonderful when simply blanched and dressed in olive oil and lemon, or delicious in frittatas and savory tarts, like this one. Don’t cheat with a store-bought puff-pastry here, this whole wheat crust comes together in only 5 minutes, requires no resting time, and makes all the difference for the final dish.
Galette with feta, agretti, and leeks
For the whole wheat dough:
- 3/4 cup (100 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (120 g) whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh herbs (rosemary or thyme), finely diced
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- ½ cup (120 ml) cold water
For the filling:
- 1 bunch (about 10 oz / 300 g) agretti
- 3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
- 3 oz / 80 g feta cheese, chopped into small cubes
- Fresh marjoram leaves
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- Sesame seeds, for decoration
For 6-8 servings
For the dough: Combine the flour, salt and herbs in a bowl and mix well. Slowly add the olive oil, stirring constantly, then the water, and continue to mix just until the dough comes together into a ball. You will want to abandon the spoon and start kneading by hand at a certain point. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a tablespoon of water and oil at a time until you reach a workable consistency. You may either roll out the dough immediately or cover with plastic wrap and let rest for up to an hour.
For the filling: Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Clean the agretti carefully, cutting away the dark, woody roots and washing thoroughly. Blanch them in boiling, salted water for about 4 minutes, drain and transfer immediately to an ice bath. Drain again and set aside. Cook the leeks in a pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil and a splash of water until soft, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Dust the ball of dough and the rolling pin with flour, and roll the dough out into a large circle. Trim away uneven edges to create an even circle and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange the feta pieces in the middle section of the dough, leaving a 2.5 inch border around the edges. Cover with agretti and leeks. Sprinkle with fresh marjoram leaves. Stir together eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables in the center of the tart. Immediately fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling, crimping as you fold.
Lightly beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush the edges of the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cook the tart in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.