Caramelised Leek TartsWednesday, March 02, 2011
Food painting artwork30 x 30cm oil on linen. Square pastry pieces. Rectangular pieces of leek. Gentle, elegant shades of greens and creams. How could this be anything else but an understated abstract of these elements? Look for the softly glowing glazing, the ghosted background colours and the linework using sgraffito (that's the fancy term for scratching into paint). This is a very subtle, understated painting, just like it's recipe is subtle and understated.
By the way, all the food painting artwork is available to own in the Official Art Store.
The meatless meals recipe
Now some notes from the kitchen. Firstly, don’t try these with mushrooms as I did. Sweet, caramelised mushroom is just disturbing. Trust me on this. I make and eat dreadful cooking mistakes so you don't have to. Well, actually my chickens & dogs do the eating of the truly dreadful ones. Secondly, leek works wonderfully well, so chic and je ne sais quoi. Onion is the acceptable cousin but not quite as, you know, vavavoom.
2 leeks or 4 small to medium onions
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup / 80ml white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
25x25cm sheet puff pastry
125g ricotta cheese
Top and tail your leeks and wash out all the grit. Cut them in half down their length and then into bite size chunks.
If your are using onions, cut them into thick rings.
Gently cook your leeks or onions in butter and oil until softened. For onions, do NOT burn. Golden is good.
Add the sugar to the pan and then the vinegar.
Simmer gently until the sauce thickens, around 5 minutes.
Cut the pastry into 4 equal squares.
Coat the pastry squares with ricotta, leaving a border around the edges.
Top with the cooked leek or onions. Reserve any leftover sauce for drizzling over the cooked tarts before serving.
Bake in the oven
at 180 C for 40 minutes on a LIGHTLY oiled tray. Keep out of the hottest part of your oven if possible or the bottoms will go black.
At 220 C on a baking paper covered tray for 15 minutes.
This makes a meal for 4 with the addition of potatoes and a side of greens.