05 Feb leek + hazelnut tart
Making use of shop-bought puff pastry is a sweet shortcut in the kitchen. Granted, you probably don’t want to be treating yourself to these flaky, buttery (well, faux-buttery mostly) sheets every evening. But on a cold morning before you leave for work, grab a sheet of puff pastry from the freezer and leave it in the fridge to defrost. Spend the rest of your day looking forward to the minimal effort but big reward dinner that you will pull together when you get home. I’ve used the combination of leeks, hazelnuts, ricotta and lemon in this tart, making it a bright and sunny winter’s dinner.
leek + hazelnut tart (serves 6)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes
1 sheet of pre-rolled puff pastry
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon of butter
2 cloves of garlic
150g of ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
A generous handful of finely grated gruyère
1. Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray large enough to fit your pastry sheet. Unroll the pastry sheet onto the baking tray and use a knife to lightly score a border of about 1cm around the edges of the pastry. Brush the edge of the border with beaten egg.
2. Trim and finely slice your leek before washing really well in a colander. Heat your butter in a frying pan. Fry the leeks for 3 minutes. Finely grate garlic cloves into the pan and fry for a further minute.
3. Smear the pastry sheet with half of the ricotta, within the pastry border. Scatter with the cooked leeks and dollop with the rest of the ricotta. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and scatter over the ricotta. Add the lemon zest before thoroughly sprinkling with grated gruyère.
4. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden brown and risen. Serve hot or warm with a green salad on the side.
This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on February 5th