Leek Tart Almost Like Banitsa

By • March 6, 2011 • 27 Comments

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Author Notes: My roots are Bulgarian and Macedonian and throughout my life, banitsa, the traditional filled filo pastry has always been a part of family meals. My mom and I used to set aside a day in early November, making 100 rolls filled with spinach, apples, peppery ground beef to freeze for the holidays....but my favorite was always the leek filled rolls. So I took that leek filling and baked it in a tart shell. Oh my!! Memories... - inpatskitcheninpatskitchen

Food52 Review: I had my eye on this tender tart. I've always used ice water in my tart pastry, and the half and half used here in its place gives the crust a wonderful tenderness that marries beautifully with her soft filling. I used whole milk cottage cheese along with the ricotta, and the buttery leeks fold right into the gentle custard. This would be lovely to serve on a brunch buffet, first because its pale colors are beautiful, but also because its delicate texture firms up a bit as it comes closer to room temperature. I so enjoyed this new cultural experience. - boulangereboulangere

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Tart shell

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 ounce stick of butter cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons half and half
  1. Mix the flour and salt together and place in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the butter and pulse about 8 times.
  3. Add the half and half, one tablespoon at a time and pulse until you can form the dough into a ball for rolling.
  4. Roll the dough into a round large enough for a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Lightly spray the pan with cooking oil and press the rolled round in.
  5. Bake the tart shell for 10 minutes at 400F. Remove from the oven and set aside while preparing the filling.

Leek filling

  • 3 1/2 cups leeks ( white and light green part only) which have been quartered lengthwise and then thinly sliced into quarter moons.
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups cottage cheese set in a colander and thoroughly drained of all liquid.
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (preferably Bulgarian feta)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  1. Saute the leeks in the butter until soft and fragrant. Remove to a medium mixing bowl and let cool.
  2. When the leeks have cooled, stir in the remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine.
  3. Pour the mixture into the tart shell and bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 325F.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Jump to Comments (27)

Tags: light, savory

Comments (27) Questions (0)

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Dsc00859_2

almost 2 years ago creamtea

I was hoping you'd submit this!

Dscn3274

almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Oh Thanks! I think I've submitted it to every contest there is! (lol)

Dscn2212

almost 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I sooooooo remember this - glad to see it here again.

Dscn3274

almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much b!

Dsc_0028

almost 2 years ago cookbookchick

boulangere, I see in the headnotes that you mention ricotta, but it is not in Pat's recipe. That sounds good to me. (Or did you mean to say feta?) If ricotta, in what proportions did you combine the cottage cheese with the ricotta?

Dscn3274

almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Hi cookbookchick! I think boulangere meant to say feta instead of ricotta. Feta is integral to the recipe, however you could probably sub ricotta for the cottage cheese.

Dsc_0028

almost 2 years ago cookbookchick

Thanks, Pat! This looks wonderful! I have had something similar (in phyllo, not tart form) at an Afghan restaurant in Northern VA. My family is Greek, so I am very familiar with phyllo pastries, savory and sweet. My grandmother, who died when I was a child, is the last person I know who made her own phyllo. She used a clean broomstick (minus the broom, of course) to roll it out. As much as I love to cook, I can't even imagine trying that! I use the already-prepared phyllo so readily available now. I have some leeks in the fridge just waiting for me to give your recipe a go. I always have feta on hand. I just need to buy the cottage cheese.

Dscn3274

almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks cookbookchick! I remember both my Bulgarian and Macedonian grandmothers making phyllo with the broomstick also. Did you see the other leek recipe I entered in the leek contest?
http://food52.com/recipes...

Dsc_0028

almost 2 years ago cookbookchick

Now I have! Oh, my! That looks wonderful, too! And I do have some phyllo/filo in my freezer.. hmm.. decisions, decisions -- delicious decisions!

Dsc00859_2

over 2 years ago creamtea

Glad to see this come up again!

Dscn3274

over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

And again and again (LOL).! I'm so glad you enjoyed this... I never received a notification of your last comment..or I would have answered sooner. And trust me I use prepared crusts very often!

Dsc00859_2

about 3 years ago creamtea

Made this and it was delicious. The kids are asking for it again. We loved it, our friends loved it. Definitely a keeper, even though I used a prepared pie crust.

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about 3 years ago catydid

Amazing recipe - perfect combination of cheeses and leeks! I cheated and used a prepared roll-your-own crust, but did the filling just as described with leeks from my cousin's organic garden. Delicious! Thank you!

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

I'm so glad you enjoyed this catydid! Thank YOU so much!

Dsc00859_2

about 3 years ago creamtea

I like this. I may try this next week for a potluck Sukkot meal. It's just the thing.

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks creamtea! If you do try it please let me know what you think..

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I loved this!

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

And I thank you again! I'm determined to work with phyllo again sometime in the near future and make this right!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'd love to hear your results. You might inspire me to do the same. At the same time, your pastry here is pretty incredible.

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Maybe I'll try it before Thanksgiving..I do know that fresh phylllo works better than frozen and I think I have a source... Boy if I get into it I could do spinach and leek and there's one I really like with ground beef and lots of black pepper!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Both sound divine in their own way.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I have to confess that I simply don't have the patience to work with phyllo very often, so I especially love that you've re-purposed a filling into this lovely tart. Beautifully done.

Dscn3274

over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

I'm with you boulangere! After my mom passed I did it for a few years...now my Dad's wife does the phyllo. Thanks for your kind words.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Lovely!

Monkeys

almost 4 years ago monkeymom

I can't wait to make this. It looks amazing!

Gator_cake

almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Love leeks and feta! Lovely tart.

Dscn3274

almost 4 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks....between the ribollitta I made yesterday and this, we have lunch all week!!