Long Leek Pie


This is a really great appetizer, with a picture that doesn’t do it justice. But trust me, it’s yummy and it’s easy.  A winning combination.

It’s puff pastry topped with leeks that have been simmered in white wine and herbs, then topped with goat’s cheese or crème fraîche. Did you know that some people don’t like goat’s cheese? It’s true, and crème fraîche isn’t a bad substitute for those people.

The recipe is from Yvette van Boven’s cookbook, Home Made. It serves 4-6 people. Mine was smaller, but a lot for two people.

What you need:

  • 4 sheets all-butter puff pastry
  • 3 leeks 
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • butter
  • a few thyme sprigs 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup aged goat cheese, grated or crumbled, or 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 egg white, loosely beaten  

What you do:

  1. Cut the leeks into three sections, removing the bottom and the dark green leaves. Wash the leeks, then simmer in the white wine, butter, thyme, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes. Remove the leeks from the simmering liquid and pat them dry.

  2. While the leeks are simmering, stack the puff pastry and roll it out lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to score a rectangle just a few centimetres inside the edge; this will form a border. Place the leeks next to each other inside the border of the puff pastry.

  3. Top the leeks with goat cheese or crème fraîche, and brush the outer edges with lightly beaten egg white. (I put a little bit of freshly grated parmesan on top of the crème fraîche)

  4. Bake for about 25 minutes at 400°F. The edge will rise and become browned.

Enjoy it while it’s hot!

Goat Cheese and Arugula Tarte Flambée

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There is a fabulous French restaurant in Vancouver called Les Faux Bourgeois where I have in the past enjoyed their tarte flambée.  I was having company the other night and wanted to make a special appetizer, so I thought I’d make up my own version.  Never having used puff pastry before, there was some trial and error, but the results were excellent.  The olive dressing adds a nice salty kick.

What you need:

  • 3 tablespoons minced kalamata olives or black olive tapenade
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • puff pastry, thawed in the fridge over night
  • a dozen or so mushrooms, sliced
  • a splash or two white wine, optional
  • baby arugula
  • goat cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing the pastry
  • pepper

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil or butter until slightly browned. Part way through you can add the splash of wine if you are using it, and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed or evaporated.
  3. To make the dressing purée the olives with the lemon and vinegar, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you purée.
  4. Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about half a centimeter thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (you could also make this into several squares to serve individual portions.) Brush the pastry with the egg.
  5. Spread a little goat cheese over the surface of the pastry, then lay some baby arugula over the cheese.  Distribute the mushrooms, then add a few bits of goat cheese to the top.  Crack some pepper on the top, and it’s ready to go into the oven.
  6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, then let it sit for a minute before you cut and serve it.  Drizzle each portion with the olive dressing.

Bon appétit!