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  • Recipe Room  »  Leek and ricotta tart



    • 4 largish leeks, trimmed and roughly chopped
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 225g ricotta
    • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
    • 3 tablespoons raisins, softened in warm water
    • 1 organic egg
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the pastry

    • 90g butter
    • 175g plain flour
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • pinch of salt

    Leek and ricotta tart

    The French for leek is ‘poireau’, which is related to the word for pears (poires). The two come from very different families but there’s definitely a connection in their sweet softness when cooked. The combination of pine nuts and raisins with leeks may well be new to you but it’s certainly a successful one.


    Make the pastry by crumbling the butter into the flour and then adding water to make a dough. Add the salt and sprinkle with flour. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.

    Steam the leeks gently for about 10 minutes and drain. In a heavy-bottomed frying pan heat the oil and gently fry the garlic. Then add the leeks and stir to coat well with oil; allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Remove from the heat. In a bowl mix the ricotta with the pine nuts and raisins, and bind with the egg. Add the leeks, mix well and season then set aside to cool. Gently roll out the pastry to fit a 20cm tart tin. Prick the base and bake blind for 10–15 minutes. Fill the tart with the leek and ricotta mixture and return to the oven to cook for a further 30 minutes or until risen and golden.

    Extract from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney, edited by Annie Rigg, published by Kyle Books, RRP $35 click to buy.

    Tips and Tricks

    • Pine nuts will last 3-4 months past their best buy date if stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last an extra couple of months if stored in the freezer.

    • As soft cheeses deteriorate faster than hard cheeses, they are best stored in a cooler part of your fridge. It’s best to also keep soft cheeses wrapped in grease proof paper rather than plastic, in order that they can breathe.

    • While many fridges provide storage in the fridge door, this is in fact the warmest part of your fridge, as opening and closing alters the temperature. Eggs last longest when they’re in a stable cool environment, so best kept in the middle of your fridge.

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