Every time I see romanesco at the market I am magnetically drawn to its otherworldly chartreuse beauty. It turns out that this odd veggie is actually quite versatile, and can be used in many recipes as a substitute for broccoli or cauliflower. A tart, combining romanesco with leeks, bay and chevre is a lovely way to mark the end of winter and the emergence of the green of spring.
All year round, I love making tarts, both savory and sweet. My kitchen is gluten-free by necessity and I am in love with this David Tanis inspired crust that I have adapted to be wheat free. There is nothing "dietetic" about this flaky tart dough - it is loaded with butter and makes for a tart that even makes wheat-lovers smile.
Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add leeks and stew for a few minutes, until they are just beginning to soften. Add a splash or two of water (to avoid browning leeks), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf. Continue to gently cook, covered, until leeks are cooked. Set aside.
Toss romanesco florets with olive oil and salt to lightly coat. Roast in 350 oven until tender, but not too soft. Remove romanesco from oven.
Turn up oven to 375.
Roll out chilled pastry dough and fit dough into a lightly greased tart pan with removable bottom. Sprinkle bottom of tart shell with Parmesan cheese. Then add the leeks and romanesco. Dot top of the tart with dollops of chevre. Bake assembled tart in 375 oven for 40-50 minutes. Crust should be golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!
Flaky Tart Dough ( Gluten Free)
Combine flour and butter in a large bowl. Use fingertips or pastry cutter to integrate until nice and crumbly, while still leaving larger pieces of butter to insure a flaky texture. Pour in egg/ice water mixture and knead dough for a minute or two until it comes together. It should be soft, a little sticky, and rough-looking.
Split dough into two rounds, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour before using. When ready to use, roll out one ball of dough. Because I am a novice baker, I always use 2 pieces of parchment to roll out dough - this prevents sticking. (If the dough gets too sticky to handle at any point, just put it back in the fridge or freezer and it will firm up again. I did this after I rolled out the crust, but before I put it in the pan.)
This recipe makes enough dough for 2 tarts - so only use 1/2 of the recipe for each tart. Try filling the other half with whatever you happen to have on hand -even some sliced apples topped with cinnamon and sugar can make a quick improvised tart.