Leek, ricotta, and carrot tart

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I went to the farmer’s market last Friday, as I do every week. There are two stands I visit often. One is a Demeter organic stand, with veggies mostly from their farm, and some from the EU countries. The other stand I love is a Bioland farm stand, and all their veggies are solely from the farm that’s not far from Leipzig. The price from both of these stands are reasonable, mostly cheaper and fresher than the produce from an organic store. The Bioland stand usually has interesting types of veggies. They have yellow beets this year, which I begged them to grow for a long time. From August, they have up to 6-7 different types of tomatoes that are absolutely delicious, as well as green and purple beans. Last friday, I found yellow, white, orange, pink, and purple carrots (!!). I was so excited that I went kind of overboard and ended up buying around a kilo. Oops. Anyways, I was trying to think of how I was going to cook with these carrots. It had to be something that showed off their wonderful colours. After a bit of brainstorming, I came up with a savoury tart. With 3 huge leeks I had in my fridge, and a half tub of ricotta cheese, and these carrots, the delectable tart was born at 11:30pm on saturday. (I think I’m getting old…). I used the olive oil tart crust from Clotilde’s fabulous Chocolate&Zucchini blog. This dough is much easier to handle and a tad healthier than a normal tart dough (or Pâte brisée) . The filling for this tart has two layers; sauteed leeks and garlic, mixed with ricotta and lemon, then I laid the carrots sticks on top and brushed the top with maple syrup and olive oil, then sprinkled the top with a bit of spices and hazelnuts, which gave the carrots a slightly sweet and nutty finish.

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The ingredient list and the instruction might seem long, but it is a breeze to make. While the dough is resting in the fridge, you can whip up the filling and chop the carrots. Have a go at it, guys. It is truly delicious. Happy cooking!

Leek, ricotta, and carrot tart. 

Serves 4-6

For the crust; I used this olive oil tart crust from Chocolate&Zucchini.

For the filling

3 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced thinly

2 cloves of garlic, minced

120g ricotta cheese

80g Gruyer cheese (or parmagiano reggiano, cheddar, or other flavourful cheese), grated

2 eggs

1.5 tsp lemon juice & zest of half of a lemon

About 600g carrots (1kg of carrots I bought didn’t all fit in the tart case..), cut into thin-ish sticks

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

A pinch or two of sweet paprika and caraway seeds

A couple of scrapes of nutmeg

Salt&pepper, to taste

A small handful of hazelnuts, roughly chopped

1. Follow the instruction of Clotilde’s olive oil tart dough. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Blind-bake the tart dough for 10 minutes.  Leave the oven on at 200°C

2. While the tart case is resting and blind-baking, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan to a medium heat. Sautee the sliced leeks and garlic with a pinch of salt until soft, about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat if the leek seems to be browning too fast. Set aside.

3. Mix ricotta, Gruyer, eggs, lemon juice, and zest together. Mix in the cooked leek, and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Fill the blind-baked tart crust with the ricotta mix.

5. Arrange the carrots sticks tightly on the top of the ricotta mix.

6. Whisk olive oil and maple syrup together, and brush the carrots all over.

7. Sprinkle the top with a scrape or two of nutmeg, a good pinch or two of sweet paprika and caraway seeds, crushed with your fingers as you sprinkle. Season with salt&pepper.

8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the carrots seem to be slightly brown and cooked. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts in the last 10 minutes of baking.

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