Recipe by Rochelle Bilow
The garlicky sweetness of butter-cooked leeks is rounded out here by the gentle heat of chili-flecked sausage. Use ground turkey if you’d like to substitute, adding a bit more butter to the pan to compensate for the leaner quality of the meat. The allure of this tart is all in the richness; don’t skimp on flavor, but do serve it with a light green salad made from bitter greens or lettuce grown hydroponically or aquaponically.
1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Generous ¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
5 tablespoons lard, chilled 3-5 tablespoons very cold water
Combine the flour, nutmeg and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and lard and pulse the machine a few times, until the fat is evenly distributed but the dough still looks quite dry. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing to combine after each tablespoon. Once the dough has just come together but is not overmixed, turn it out onto a floured surface. Form the dough into a thick disc, wrap in plastic and let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Place the chilled dough on a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness. Carefully transfer the dough to an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press in the dough and snip off any excess. Reroll the scraps and use cookie cutters to cut out 2-3 small pieces. I use fall leaf-shaped cutters.
½ cup loose ground pork or sausage
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons lard or butter2 cups chopped leeks2 medium-sized eggs
½ cup whole milkSalt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until puffed and faintly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, sauté the sausage and chile flakes over medium-high heat in a pan along with 1 tablespoon of the lard or butter. Once fully cooked, remove from the pan and reserve for later. Add the second tablespoon of fat and sauté the leeks over medium heat, until gently softened and translucent. Add them to the reserved pork.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, along with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.
Spread the sausage and leeks out over the bottom of the tart crust, then pour over the egg mixture. Crack extra black pepper over the top.
Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes, until just set. Let cool slightly before serving. If serving for brunch, pair with a sparkling wine like the Dr. Konstantin Frank Célèbre Rosé.
Rochelle Bilow lives in Syracuse. Her book The Call of the Farm tells her tale of living on a farm, falling in love and learning to render fat.