In a rush for time and having people coming over during the festive season? You want to serve something that is homemade and elegant? These savoury tarts are not only good looking but also easy to make if you use store-bought puff pastry dough.
I don’t often bake or cook with store-bought roll-out puff pastry dough because it’s high in fat — certain brands more than others. However, from time to time and on special occasions, I use it because it’s light, fluffy and, as I said above, it’s easy.
If you normally make your own puff pastry dough, please go ahead! But making your own puff pastry can be a gruelling task that requires precision and lots of time—time that many people just don’t have. Therefore, if you find a good quality pre-made puff pastry dough in the supermarket or health food store, I say go for it!
Based on a Swiss recipe that I’ve modified, these leek tarts go well with a glass of white wine or champagne. You can make them either vegan or vegetarian.
Tasty leek tarts
Makes 12 to 16 tarts (or more if made smaller)
- 3/4 cup natural greek yoghurt ** (see note for vegan)
- 1 egg ** (see note for vegan)
- 2 tablespoons (tbsp) parmesan cheese, grated ** (see note for vegan)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons dill weed, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 350 grams leeks with green stems, sliced in two parts lengthwise and sliced fine crosswise (makes 4 cups sliced leeks) * (see option for a greener filling)
- 1 medium-size russet potato, peeled and grated (makes 1 cup grated potato)
- Salt & ground pepper
- 1 puff pastry roll-out dough (25 X 42 cm /10 X 17 inches rectangular), store-bought or homemade
* For a greener filling, reduce the chopped leeks to 3 cups (260 grams) and add 1 cup tightly packed (90 grams) chopped kale or spinach leaves. Sauté the kale or spinach leaves with the leeks towards the end and for the last minute, just enough to soften them.
** For vegan: Replace dairy yoghurt with natural soy yoghurt or cashew cream. For one vegan egg, in small bowl mix 1 tbsp ground chia seeds with 3 tbsps water and set aside for 5 minutes until a gel forms. Add to the yogurt and mix. With vegan parmesan cheese, add one tbsp of nutritional yeast for flavour.
Oven: 220°C / 430°F
One or two muffin pans lightly greased with olive oil.
In a big bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, egg, parmesan and dill weed.
In a skillet on stove-top, heat up the olive oil. Lower heat and add the leeks and potatoes. Sauté continuously for 5 minutes until the leeks and potatoes are soft. Transfer to the yoghurt mixture and mix with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Place in refrigerator.
Roll out the puff pastry on a hard surface keeping the parchment paper underneath. (In your country, if the dough doesn’t come with parchment, I recommend you place a sheet under the dough.) With a rolling pin, lightly roll out the dough 2 or 3 times, just enough to thin it out a little.
With the rim of a glass or jar, make impressions in the dough that are similar in size to the molds in the muffin pan(s) you are using. Cut a square around each impression. Arrange and gently press the dough squares into each muffin mold keeping the parchment paper underneath. Fill the dough with spoonfuls of leek mixture. (see below).
Bake on middle rack in pre-heated oven for 20 to 22 minutes, until the dough is golden. Thanks to the parchment paper, these slide out really well! Place on cooling rack.
Serve heated, at room temperature or cold. Can be reheated on low heat in microwave or oven. Store leftovers in a covered container in fridge.
I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Great New Year!