My mother makes a delicious French style quiche and my mother-in-law makes a killer Spanish omelet (as does my husband!). Given the competition, I rarely have the chance to cook a Spanish egg dish of my own (not that I'm complaining!). So when I found this recipe for a Spanish leek and artichoke tart-- a Spanish twist on the quiches of France-- I jumped at my chance before anyone could argue otherwise!
I never cooked much with leeks when I lived in the US, and I don't recall my mother ever buying them. What a shame! They are so flavorful, and are now one of my go-to ingredients for stocks, sauces, stews and soups. But who knew they would also go so well with eggs?
Claudia Roden's version of this recipe (which I've adapted here), claims that it comes from the Basque Country, which makes perfect sense given its proximity to France. Her version omits the artichokes and the cheese (so feel free to do the same) though I love the extra flavor they add.
Spanish Leek and Artichoke Tart (Tarta de Puerros y Alcachofas)
For the Crust
- 1 and ⅔ cups of flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons 1 stick of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ egg white lightly beaten
For the Filling
- 1 pound of whole leeks trimmed and washed well and then roughly chopped
- 1 can of artichoke hearts about 8 medium sized artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Four large eggs the quality of eggs is key and I recommend free range
- 1 cup of heavy cream you can substitute whole milk, however it won't be quite as creamy
- ½ cup of grated cured Manchego cheese you can substitute Parmesan if necessary
- Mix the flour and salt in a large glass bowl and add the chunks of cold butter. Massage the butter into the flour with you hands, working quickly, until the mixture resembles damp sand.
- Add the beaten egg and mix well, knead with your hands until the dough just holds together in a ball (add the milk if necessary).
- Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Take the dough out about 10 minutes before using, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease an 11 inch tart pan and mold the dough into the pan by adding chunk after chunk and pressing and flattening the dough to fit the mold. Smooth out any seams.
- When the dough has been used up and the pan is covered, coat the crust with beaten egg white, and prick with a fork.
- Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling.
- Cook the leeks in boiling salted water for 10 minutes and drain well.
- Lightly beat the eggs, add the cream, and then add the chopped leeks, artichokes and cheese. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the crust and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.
What's your favorite Spanish egg recipe?