Spring a leek

Serves 4

Leek tart tatin
Photo: Ant Ong

Spring into action in both the garden and kitchen, harvesting and cooking up a storm with new season leeks. 

Ingredients

  • 10–12 large leeks

  • 50g butter

  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 3–4 sprigs of thyme

  • 1 sheet of butter puff pastry

  • Sea salt flakes and black pepper, to taste 

Method

Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160°C. Trim the leeks of the outer layers and wash off the dirt. Cut the white part only, crossways into 3cm lengths. In a 22cm frying pan melt the butter, add the sugar and stir to combine then remove from the heat.

Pack the leeks tightly together into the pan, standing them upright, and top with 2 thyme sprigs then place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add
4 tablespoons of water then place the frying pan on the stove over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.

Increase the oven temperature to 180°C. Remove the leeks from the heat and allow them to cool. Remove the thyme sprigs from the pan. Place the pastry over the leeks, ensuring you keep the leeks tightly pushed together.

Push the pastry down the sides of the leeks, tucking it in
as you go. Cut a small slit on top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape and place into the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed, golden and cooked through.

Remove the pan from the oven and give it a shake to help loosen the leeks from the base of the pan. With one hand firmly under a plate, place the plate over the top of the pan and flip over the tart.

Pick the leaves off the sprigs of the remaining thyme and sprinkle over the tart. Serve with pea and feta mash.

For the recipe and the full story on spring leeks and strawberries, and how to harvest and cook both, get your copy of Issue 90 ABC Organic Gardener OUT NOW. 

Recipe: Julie Ray