Leek Asparagus Tart Tatin with Goat Cheese

by Ruby R. Hoy

Recipe inspired and adapted from Clotilde Desoulier

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unbleached white all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. plain whole milk yogurt
  • 5 Tbsp. cold, salted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3-1/2 pounds leeks (try to pick leeks that are nice and firm with a longer white part)
  • 8 medium-sized asparagus spears
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower oil or ghee
  • 6 Tbsp. goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. runny honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • whole milk, for brushing
  • chives, for garnish
Leek Asparagus Tart Tatin with Goat Cheese

Christine Sargologos

Make tart dough ahead of time. It can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours.

Sift flours and salt together in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the flours, and add yogurt. Add butter, and using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry blender, press butter into flour mixture, until pieces of butter are no longer visible and dough is starting to hold together. Turn dough out onto a clean surface, and knead with your hands until it sticks together. You can add a bit more flour or cold water if necessary to make the right consistency, but do not overwork.

Press into a flat circle, and wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

When you are ready to make the tart, preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out tart dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it is large enough to cover an 11-inch tart pan with extra room to tuck into the sides. Set aside.

Cut leeks into about ¾-inch lengths, and place rounds into a large bowl of water. Swish around to dislodge any dirt, and soak for ten minutes, maintaining the shape of the rounds. Remove from water, strain well, and dry with a kitchen towel.

Warm the sunflower oil over medium-low heat in a large cast iron skillet, about 11 inches across. Place leeks, cut side down, in the pan, and cover. Cook for ten minutes without disturbing, making sure that the leeks do not burn. Remove from heat, and let cool. Flip the leeks over in the skillet, making sure that there is still some oil on the bottom, and not too much liquid.

Push leek pieces together so that they are all touching, and add asparagus rounds of the same length to fill in any holes. Make sure there is about ½-inch of space around the outside of the pan to press the dough into. Add salt, pepper and two tablespoons of goat cheese to the top of the leeks.

Slice the remaining spears of asparagus lengthwise (enough to cover the first layer of leeks), and in a frying pan on high heat with a small amount of oil, brown the cut side quickly, pressing the asparagus down so it does not buckle. Add the halved asparagus spears, browned side up, on top of the first layer of the tart. Add more goat cheese, reserving a little bit for the finished product, and a little bit more salt and pepper. Drizzle the runny honey on top. Remove parchment paper from tart dough, and center it on top of the vegetables. Tuck the sides of the dough down around the vegetables. Cut four vents in the top of the dough, and brush with whole milk.

Cook for about 35-40 minutes on the middle oven rack, until crust is lightly browning. Remove tart from oven, and using two oven mitts or towels and a platter placed on top on the skillet, invert the tart so that the crust ends up on the bottom. If any of the leeks stick to the pan, place them back into the tart where they came from. Add the remainder of the goat cheese, the chives and chive oil (see recipe for chive oil) to the top of the tart, and serve warm.

Yield: one tart