Leek TartClick to Play

Leek Tart

Porrata

Mary Ann Esposito

SERVES 6 TO 8

Porrata means a leek tart, originally made to commemorate religious functions held in San Lorenzo during August. This tart is usually an antipasto but it can be a main course.

It may seem like an overabundance of leeks is called for in this recipe, but it makes the perfect amount of filling for a 10 1/2-inch tart pan. The dough is easily made in a food processor or by hand and you can make the filling two days ahead of time.

DOUGH

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 F)
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 3/4 to 4 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

FILLING

4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 pounds leeks, dark green stem tops and roots removed
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grinding white pepper
1/4 pound prosciutto, mortadella, or cooked ham, diced

DIRECTIONS

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water and allow to get chalky looking, about 5 minutes. Transfer the yeast mixture to the bowl of a food processor or pour it into a large bowl if doing this by hand. Pour in the remaining water, the olive oil, and egg and combine well.

Add the salt and 3 1/2 cups of the flour. Pulse to mix the ingredients or mix by hand. Stir in the remaining flour, a little at a time, until a smooth ball of dough moves away from the side of the processor or the bowl. The dough should feel soft and smooth and not stick to your hands. You may or may not need all the flour.

If you used the food processor, transfer the dough to a bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Otherwise use the same bowl you worked the dough in by hand. Allow the dough to double in size (about 2 hours) in a warm spot.

Meanwhile make the filling. Wash the leeks well as they can be very sandy. Dry them with paper towels and cut them lengthwise and then widthwise in 1/4-inch thick slices.

In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil, add the leeks and cook them covered over low heat stirring frequently until they soften, about 5 minutes. Uncover the pan, raise the heat to high, pour in the wine and allow most of it to evaporate. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook until the leeks are very soft and creamy looking. Transfer the leeks to a bowl and when they are cool, stir in the eggs, salt, and a good grinding of the pepper. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until ready to fill the tart shell. This step can be done two days ahead of time.

Lightly spray a 10 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Punch down the dough with your fists and divide it in half; roll one half into a 13-inch round, and fit it into the tart shell. Cut off the excess dough with a scissors. Scatter the prosciutto in the base of the shell, then spread the leek mixture over the top. Roll out the second half of the dough to fit the top of the tart pan, allowing for the dough to overhang the pan. Gently roll over the top of the tart shell with a rolling pin to cut off the excess dough.

Reroll the scraps and use a cookie cutter to make designs for the top of the tart if you wish, or simply make a couple of small rolls to bake along with the tart. Bake the tart for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely browned. Allow the tart to cool before removing the side rim. Cut the tart into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: The Roman emperor Nero ate leeks every day to keep his throat clear, since he loved to sing and believed that leeks kept his vocal chords in condition.

item recipe is featured in Episode 1316 of Season 13.

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    Helena Heller

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