There are not many things I miss about England, I used to get huge cravings for homely food but over the years this has diminished. However, one thing I always miss is pastry! Myself and pastry have a love affair that goes way back and one of the first things I do when I land back on home turf is grab a cheese and onion pie.
So this year when I returned home to a full house I decided to serve up a real crowd pleaser (and take advantage of a big kitchen) and cook up a rustic cheesy tart. You can use store bought pastry, shortcrust would work well, making this dish an easy weeknight dinner. Or if you have some time on your hands you should defiantly make your own pastry. The one below cannot be store bought and is like a love affair between bread and short crust pastry and its truly delicious! Although a little time consuming, it’s easy to do on a Sunday afternoon whilst sipping on a glass of Prossecco.
The filling is also very versatile, you can choose a variety of dark leafy greens including Swiss chard, Kale or spinach. I chose to use Cavolo Nero or black kale, a flavoursome Tuscan leaf with a slightly bitter flavour and sweet aftertaste; this paired perfectly with the nutty sweetness of the Gruyere and buttery leeks. For a lighter evening meal this dish can be served with a simple salad or if you have a crowd to please you can do a root vegetable and new potato tray bake- I topped mine with lamb’s lettuce and green pesto
So here it is my Tuscan Kale, Leek and Gruyere Tart
Prep 45 mins + 2 to 2 ½ hours rising time
Cooking time 1 hour
200g Strong wholemeal flour
1 tsp Dried yeast
1 tsp Caster sugar
90g Butter softened
200s Cavolo nero
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tbsp Butter
100ml Dry white wine
1 eggs and 1 egg yolk
150g Crème fraiche
2 tbsp Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the tart combine the flour, sugar, yeast a 1tsp salt in a large bowl. Make a well and add in 2 eggs and gradually combine, if the mixture is too dry add another egg. Once combined slowly add the softened butter and knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is well combined and glossy. Cover the dough and leave it in a warm place to rise for 2 – 2 ½ hours.
In the mean time make the tart filling. Start by melting the butter in a large pan then add thinly sliced leeks and cavolo nero, sauté for 2-3 minutes then add the white wine, simmer for another 2-3 minutes until the wine has evaporated. Then leave to cool completely.
In a medium bowl whisk the egg, egg yolk and crème fraiche then stir in the grated cheese, thyme and kale mixture.
Pre heat the oven to 190°c. Knock down the dough and roll into a rough 35cm circle. Grease a 25cm cake tin and then line with the dough letting the sides overhang the tin. Fill the tart crust with the filling then fold down the sides. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden, allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and serve immediately.