Potato and Leek Tart (Turta d'patàc e pòri)

Posted by David on Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 1:21 PM.

This was the sleeper hit of all of the dishes I cooked for New Years' -- possibly because it's basically mashed potatoes in a crust. But mighty tasty.

For the pastry:

  • 7 1/2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3-4 tbs cold water (or even a few more tbs, if necessary to get it to come together)
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the filling:

  • 1 pound leeks, white and pale green only
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Make the pastry: Cut the butter into the flour and mix together quickly, being careful not to overwork. Stir in the egg yolks and the water. Put the dough on a lightly floured boad and knead very briefly, no more than 10 strokes, until the ingredients come together. Rub a few drops of olive oil in the palms of your hands and shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Trim the leeks and rinse out any sand. Coarsely chop the leeks, then toss with the salt and set aside for 30 minutes to soften.

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted ater to a rolling boil and drop in the potatoes. Let boil for 10 minutes, or just long enough to soften them but not cook them through. Drain immediately and chop coarsely.

In a large bowl, mix the salted leeks and chopped potatoes together, then add the cheese and toss to combine. With a fork, beat the milk and egg together, then stir into the mixed vegetables. Taste and add salt, if necessary, and freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured board in a circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9- to 10-inch quiche pan or straight-sided pie tin, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of pastry hanging over the edge of the pan. Turn the vegetable mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Now fold the edges of the pastry over the edge of the filling so that it is partially covered. Paint the exposed pastry with a very little olive oil.

Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and let cool slightly, to somewhat warmer than room temperature, before serving.

DAE's notes:

  • I baked this in a spring-form pan, which allowed me to remove the sides when I served it, which looked rather nice if I do say so myself.

  • I'm planning to use this basic idea and see what I can do with, say, sweet potatoes, or turnips and onions or something.

From Nancy Harmon Jenkins' Flavors of Tuscany.

Debra, on Tuesday, January 4, 2005 at 12:12 PM:

I can personally attest that it tasted wonderful. And yes, it was beautious as well.