Spinach varieties are separated into
types with flat leaves, leaves that are semi-savoyed (crinkled), or those that
are heavily savoyed. The flat-leafed types are used primarily by the processing
industry since soil particles are easier to wash off.
The thick leaves and ease of washing also make this type attractive to certain
fresh market consumers. Whatever type, fresh spinach should be crisp, succulent
and dark green, with a minimum of stems.
Spinach and Leek Tart
1 ready-to-bake pastry crust for a 9-inch tart
3 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
1T. lemon juice
1 t. minced garlic
2 small leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 C. bread crumbs
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 C. peeled, seeded and diced fresh tomatoes
2 T. minced parsley, for garnish
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Fit pastry into 9-inch springform pan. Prick pastry with
a fork and bake until lightly browned. Let cool slightly in the pan.
To prepare filling, in a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive
oil over moderate heat. Add spinach and lemon juice; cook 2 minutes. Transfer to
a strainer; press to extract excess liquid.
Return skillet to moderate heat; add remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add garlic
and leeks; saute until leeks are softened but not browned (about 10 minutes).
Stir in bread crumbs; add salt and pepper.
Arrange spinach around sides and bottom of baked, cooled crust. Spoon in leek
mixture. Spoon tomatoes over top. Return to oven; bake until filling is hot
throughout (5 to 8 minutes). Let filling rest 3 to 5 minutes before unmolding
tart. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan before serving.
Makes one nine-inch tart.