I realise that mothers’ day was a little over a month ago now… that is how long I have been thinking about what I ate that day…
For the last few years, my sister and I have taken our mum out to lunch on mothers’ day to a nursery that she loves that also has a little café that serves fantastic rustic food.
I ordered the leek tart and it was so good that I pulled my mobile out halfway through my meal and made a note of what I could see and taste so I could make it myself.
And I did!
My version was just as yummy, but a bit more ‘polished’. I know how to make tarts so I just did what I usually do… The leek tart I had at the café on mothers’ day was more rustic, and if I think back to the original dish, I believe that instead of baking the filling in the tart like I describe below, they baked the puff pastry shells and then added the pre-cooked filling, which is in fact easier and would allow you to add a lot more filling and spinach…
Whichever way you wish to put these tarts together, they are yummy, equally sweet and tart with a lovely pastry crunch and surprisingly filling.
Leek and Mushroom Tarts with Spinach, Parmesan and Balsamic Glaze
Makes 8 tarts
- 2 Leeks (white and pale green parts only, rinsed, halved and sliced)
- 250g Swiss Brown Mushrooms (thickly sliced)
- 35g Dried Chanterelle Mushrooms
- 2 Sheets Store-Bought Puff Pastry (thawed)
- 100g Baby Spinach Leaves
- Handful Shaved Parmesan
- Handful Pine Nuts
- Butter (for sautéing)
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
- Place dried chanterelle mushrooms into a bowl and cover with hot water. Leave aside to soften for approx 20 minutes. Once softened, drain, squeeze out excess liquid and roughly chop.
- Preheat oven to 200°c
- Melt some butter in a heavy-based skillet. When it just begins to bubble, add the sliced leeks. Stir to coat in the butter and then sauté over medium heat for approximately ten minutes, or until the leeks are glistening and starting to soften.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped chanterelles and continue to sauté for another five minutes or until the mushrooms are beginning to soften and just beginning to release liquid.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the brown sugar and the balsamic vinegar glaze to the leek and mushroom mixture. Stir until the brown sugar has dissolved and simmer for another ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice each sheet of puff pastry into four squares. Prick the middle of the pastry a few times with a fork, remembering to Leave a 2cm gap around the edge of each piece so that it will rise around the filling during the cooking time. Place each puff pastry square onto two sheet pans, allowing some space between each square.
- Scoop two tablespoons of the leek and mushroom mixture into the centre of each of the puff pastry squares, taking care to leave the un-pricked borders free of filling.
- Place the sheet pans in the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the border of the puff pastry square have risen and are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, add some butter to a clean frying pan over medium heat. Once the butter had melted, add the baby spinach and sauté very quickly until just wilted.
- Top each cooked puff pastry square with the wilted spinach, pine nuts and some shaved Parmesan.