I know, I know, my posts have been few and far between recently. I’ve been averaging one a week for the last little bit. Pretty unacceptable, if you ask me. The thing is, I’ve been working my ass off lately and honestly, when I get home late, all I want is to do my best impression of a vegetable for an hour before I go to bed. Then, I don’t know, on top of that, March exploded with social activities and though I’m in no way complaining about having too many friends or too many restaurants to go to (oh boo hoo poor me), I have to admit that I miss my apartment and my cats and my trash tv just a little bit. I’m a bit of a homebody like that. So, sorry for the neglect. I can’t promise you it will get any better through the month of April, which is shaping up to be complete madness too. In the meantime, I’ll tell you about this tart, which has been on the roster for WEEKS now.
Remember that Oscar party from a few weeks back? In addition to Midnight In Paris, I took one for the team and made a dish based on The Tree of Life. I still haven’t seen the film, so I did some online research, which honestly, just served to baffle me. If you visit wikipedia, the plot of this move reads something like “Texas, death, BIG BANG! DINOSAURS! 30 years forward, 20 years backwards…” etc. It’s nonsensical. I imagine it’s probably an intriguing movie, but…..dear lord it sounds like a hot mess. I wanted to make primordial stew (cioppino), but since it doesn’t keep well, I went with this broccoli tart instead. Do you get it? Tree of Life? Broccoli? Little trees!
Truthfully, I had had my eye on this recipe for a bit, so it worked out nicely for me. It’s yet another recipe from Ottolenghi. Oh, you noticed? There have been a few Ottolenghi recipes up in here recently. What can I say, I’m a woman obsessed and this one did nothing to dampen the obsession. Basically, this pie consists of leeks stewed in cream and mustard with lots of herbs, layered with broccoli and gorgonzola, all wrapped up in puff pastry.
The flavors in this pie are kind of a revelation. There are all the flavors you expect…the buttery puff pastry, the earthy broccoli, the robust, creamy gorgonzola and the oniony leeks. And then there’s something else. It’s the tarragon. It’s tarragon like you’ve never tasted tarragon. Honestly, had I not made the tart, I’m not sure I could have identified it; it wasn’t licoricey, exactly, it was just…floral and fragrant and kind of in your face. Everyone that bit into this tart immediately made a contemplative expression, turned to me and asked “what is that?” All I can say is that the flavor is bizarre….and totally addictive. Perhaps like the movie it was based on….but I can’t say for sure, since I still haven’t seen it.
Broccoli and Gorgonzola Pie
From Plenty by Yottam Ottolenghi.
I think it may be easier to find “1 lb” of puff pastry in England than it is here. I just used a rectangular tart pan and one sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry for the bottom and top crust each.
1 lb puff pastry
2 broccoli heads (1.5 lbs), cut into smallish florets
2 T butter
3-4 leeks, thinly sliced and thoroughly washed
2/3 c heavy cream
1/3 c water
1/3 c chopped chives
1/3 c chopped tarragon
3 T grainy mustard
1 t salt
7 oz gorgonzola
1 egg, beaten
- Heat oven to 400°F
- Roll out 2/3 of puff pastry into a circle large enough to line a 20″ tart pan (with a removable bottom). Line the pan and cut off excess. Roll out other 1/3 into a disk large enough to cover the top of the pie. Freeze both for 10 minutes
- Line the bottom pastry with parchment paper and pie weights. Blind bake for 15-20 min, then remove the weights and parchment and bake another 5 min or until golden. Remove from oven and cool
While the shell bakes, make the filling:
- Blanch the broccoli florets in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside
- In a large heavy pan, melt the butter and cook the leeks on low heat for ~15 min, or until soft but not browning
- Add the cream, water, herbs, mustard, salt and lots of black pepper. STir and remove from heat
- Layer the leek mixture on the bottom of the pastry
- Next, spread out the broccoli florets and press into the leek mixture
- Top the broccoli with the gorgonzola, filling any gaps
- Brush the edge osf the pastry base with beaten egg and place the top pastry over the filling. Press the edges down firmly to seal (honestly, the seal wont be great, but don’t worry!)
- Brush the lid with the beaten egg
- Bake ~30 minutes or until golden brown
- Serve warm or room temperature