It is my pleasure to present to you, the last of this summer's leeks. It's quite hard to take a shot of your bounty in the left arm with the camera in the right, very hard to titivate and I feel the angle doesn't really do justice to just how many leeks make up an armful. I guess this difficulty really presses the case for an old fashioned trug. This lady gardener does love the romance of wandering through the garden's gloaming, trug in one hand, secateurs in the other, plucking produce and blossom hither and thither.* I like to imagine that this is what the woman from the old Flake ad is upto when she's not busily devouring chocolate under that tree. She is wearing the perfect hat.
This trug above is not so old fashioned but indeed fashioned from something old. Very impressive recycling! I must speak to Husbando about sourcing some old tyres from work...perhaps I can also find the how-to for tyre swans. Many thanks to Kathreen of Whip Up for the image above. Check out her fantastic site with the link below and whip up your own tyre trug! http://whipup.net/2009/04/20/diy-tire-trug/
And so this what become of my lovely leeks. Not the most marvellous shot as I am not any kind of food stylist and what's more, I just really wanted to get eating. Between myself and my fellow diners, Husbando and his Mum, the verdict was unanimous - divine! I use Jamie Oliver's Greek Rustic Tart as a base and simply swapped out the spinach for sauteed leeks, the fetta and haloumi for gruyere and goat's cheese and threw in some bacon. Go easy on the goat's cheese as it is very rich and a little goes a long way. Plus, it's kinda expensive so nice to keep some in reserve for other treats. Goat's cheese, spanish onion and rocket bruschetta, anyone? I like to use Meredith Dairy Goat's Cheese as it's marinated in olive oil which is delicious long after the cheese has left the building. Stephanie Alexander was helpful as always with tips on leek prep, though I chose not to slice my leeks lengthwise and left them as more aesthetically pleasing rounds. However, I did pay the price for this headstrong approach (who am I to question Stephanie, really?) and burnt my fingers pushing the lovely soft concentric circles through.
Jamie Oliver's Rustic Greek Tart -
450gr packet of frozen spinach, thawed; squeeze out excess liquid
1 sheet of Ready Rolled shortcrust pastry
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
150gr haloumi, grated
120gr danish fetta, crumbled
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme to sprinkle (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
small container of pouring cream
~ please note, Ii am very liberal when making these and tend to use the whole packet of haloumi, fetta and spinach. The above quantities make about 12 individual pies or one large one.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
If making individual pies, grease a cupcake pan, divide up pastry accordingly and press into pan - I find it easiest to cut sheet into squares and trim excess later, if you are feeling less than rustic! If you don't trim, keep an eye when baking as the edges are more likely to burn. Use alfoil to protect, especially if you plan to reheat later.
Spread spinach and garlic over the pastry, then haloumi, fetta and herbs.
Lightly beat 2 eggs into about 2/3 of the cream and season w salt and pepper.
Pour gently into each pie. If it seems too eggy, disperse with a little more cream.
Bake for 15 - 20 mins for individual pies or 30 - 40 for one large slab.
Pastry should be golden brown and the filling set.
Serve with lemon wedges and a fresh green salad and enjoy with friends!
*not to mention getting overly lyrical with her language.