Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lunch this week: Leek and Spinach Tart

So far, I'm keeping my resolution of taking lunch to work every day. (1 week down, 48 to go!) I have three requirements for lunch food:
  1. It has to be portable.  Nothing wet - I've had bad experiences with soups and salad dressings.
  2. It has to taste good cold or be re-heatable in a microwave. There's nothing more depressing than a bad lunch.
  3. It has to be filling. I don't subscribe to the "grazing" philosophy of eating every a snack every 2 hours. Lunch has to last me until dinner.
And it helps if I can make it on Sunday and eat it for the rest of the week. This is why I'm fond of savory tarts. They are generally good cold, but they reheat beautifully. You can stuff a lot of vegetables in them, and they are relatively easy to make.

Leek and Spinach Tart
This is what I am eating for lunch this week. It is adapted from a recipe for a Greek phyllo pastry filling. It's not bad, but I find it a little one note. I find myself wishing it had more spinach, or pine nuts or green olives to give it more texture and pep it up a bit.  Maybe next time.

Leek and Spinach Tart
8 servings, approximately 345 calories each. 
  • 9 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 8 cups finely diced leeks, white and pale green part only (I used 4 fat leeks)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions  - I didn't have any so I used 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 16 ounces full fat small curd cottage cheese, drained in a colander to rid the moisture (or if you can find it dry cottage cheese)
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (preferably Bulgarian) or one heaping cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • pie crust (I'm using a pre-made crust, but feel free to make your own.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Steam the spinach until it wilts. Cool and then squeeze as much of the liquid out as you possibly can. Roughly chop and then place the spinach in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, saute the diced leeks over medium heat. After about 5 minutes add the sliced scallions and continue to saute until everything is very soft. (this can take up to 20 minutes). Add this mixture to the mixing bowl and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the drained cottage cheese and feta. At this point taste the mixture. You definitely want to add a little pepper ( I added 1/2 teaspoon) but the amount of salt you add depends on how salty your feta is. Use your judgement.
  5. Stir in the beaten eggs. 
  6. Put the tart crust into the tart pan and fill with the leek and cheese mixture. Put it in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour depending on how long it takes to brown the top.

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