Springtime Leek and Goat Cheese Tart Recipe

Here's the latest recipe from chef Jill Fisher! Jill, a licensed Personal Chef, teaches cooking classes at Conejo Valley Adult School and Williams Sonoma in Thousand Oaks and has written articles for local food magazines such as 805 Living. In December, Jill and her friend released their cookbook "i found my sanity in...My Best Friend's Kitchen."

CLICK HERE for other recipes from Jill published here on Conejo Valley Guide!

Perfect for your springtime brunch, a Leek and Goat Cheese Tart.  Leeks are a member of the onion family yet have a milder flavor and are a fantastic addition to your favorite dishes, especially  when they have been slightly sautéed first.  Because they are a bulb, they do have layers that can trap dirt.  The best way to get rid of the dirt and sand is to slice the leeks, just up to tender green stem, and put the slices in a colander.  Run them under cool water and separate the rings with your fingers to shake loose any residual dirt. Pair this delicious tart with a spinach salad and fruit and you’ll be ready for spring! -Jill

Leek and Goat Cheese Tart

1 pie crust, blind baked*

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 lb leeks, including tender green parts, well cleaned and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick

Salt and pepper

2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 cup heavy cream

Pinch of nutmeg

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

3 Tbsp chopped chives

¼ lb fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Prepare the pastry crust.*

In a large, heavy frying pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  When it foams, add the leeks, reduce the heat to low, and cook slowly until the leeks are soft and golden, about 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.  Place a baking sheet on the rack below to catch drips.

In a bowl, whisk together the whole egg, egg yolk and cream until well blended.  Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese evenly over the bottom of the pastry crust.  Top with the leeks, then the chives, and finally the goat cheese.  Pour as much of the egg mixture as will fit, stopping within ½ inch of the rim.  Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese evenly over the top.

Bake the tart until the top is lightly puffed and golden and the filling jiggles only slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 25 minutes.  Remove the tart from the oven and let rest 10 minutes.  If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, place the pan on your outstretched palm and let the ring fall away, then slide the tart onto a serving plate.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 4-6 servings

*Blind Baking - Also called prebaking, blind baking means partially or completely baking a pie or tart shell before filling it.  To partially blind bake a tart shell, preheat the oven to 400F.  Lay a sheet of parchment paper over the pastry-lined tart pan; it should extend slightly beyond the rim.  Weight it down with pie weights, raw rice or dried beans.  Bake for 10 minutes until just set, then remove the weights and parchment.  Prick the bottom of the still-soft crust with fork and return to the oven until the crust sets and colors slightly, 5 to 10 minutes longer.  Let cool on a rack before filling.