While it is certainly true that many dishes of the world originated in France, Italy in fact, is the creator of many more, as it has a more ancient cuisine. However, this leek tart is possibly a variation of quiche lorraine. Leeks are particularly popular in the North of Italy, where they are cooked in numerous ways. Most often they are boiled and served covered with grated Parmesan and melted butter: they are then called "leeks Parmigiana."

ingredients

  • For the Leeks:
  • 1 pound leeks
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened, divided
  • For the Sauce:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, warmed
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 egg yolks

  • Salt

directions

FOR THE LEEKS:
Trim off the dark green parts of the leeks and the roots. Wash well to remove all grit. Cook the leeks in boiling salted water for 10 minutes then drain. Saute the leeks in 2 tablespoons of the butter over low heat for a few minutes.

FOR THE SAUCE:
In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Stir in 1/4 cup of the flour until well mixed. Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat. Season with a little pepper. Whisk in the Parmesan and egg yolks. Set this bechamel sauce aside.

FOR THE DOUGH:
Heap the remaining flour in a mound and make a well in the center. Add the remaining butter, a pinch of salt and a small amount of cold water. Work the mixture into a smooth, soft dough.

TO SERVE:
Roll out the dough into a circle large enough to line a 9-inch tart pan with 2-inch sides. Prick the pastry with a fork. Cover with a sheet of parchment (baking) paper or foil. Fill the tart shell with dried beans and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Remove the beans and paper. Arrange the leeks in a neat row on the pastry. Pour the bechamel over the leeks. Return the tart to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Let it rest for a moment or two out of the oven before turning out and serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 1243

nutrition information per serving

332 calories; 16g total fat; 93mg cholesterol; 166mg sodium; 37g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 10g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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