When I was at Pearl Alley Farmers Market, I picked up two of the last three bundles of leeks at a stall (how awful that I don’t remember which farm it was!). I have been lovingly obsessing over them and plotting what to do that would be a proper homage to one of my most favorite of vegetables. Flavors of Tuscany does it again with la Porrata or leek pie. And it’s in keeping with my Italian mood: just a few humble ingredients transform into somthing luscious. It is a bit of work as you’ve got to make a yeast dough (fun with a kid!) and let it rise for an hour, but the flavor makes it so very well worth it. It would be a lovely addition to a Sunday brunch, but also makes a great lunch with a few delicate greens dressed with a fenugreek vinaigrette (i.e., standard vinaigrette with 1/2 teaspoon of ground fenugreek whisked in). This is a bit like a Quiche, only much lighter (no cream at all and just a little bit of parmesan) and it properly showcases that beautiful Allium.
la Porrata, Leek Pie, inspired from Flavors of Tuscany
For the dough:
1/4 t active dry yeast
2 c plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 to 4 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t salt
Place the yeast in a cup along with 6 tablespoons of warm water (not hot! you don’t want to kill the yeast!) and set aside to dissolve.
Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the dissolved yeast, egg, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the salt. Knead together until the dough is soft and a little spongy, use a little more olive oil if necessary. Form into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and keep in a warm place for an hour or until ready to use.
For the pie filling:
1/4 c olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 T parmesan
Butter, to grease the pie pan
1 to 2 oz crisped bacon or prosciutto
In a saute pan, add the olive oil, leeks and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently to soften. When done, remove from the heat and allow to cool a few minutes before adding them to a bowl with the whisked egg and parmesan. You don’t want to scramble the eggs. Add a bit more salt and pepper for the egg.
Preheat the oven to 375˚. Lightly grease a pie pan. Roll out the pie dough in a circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Lay the dough in the pan, crimp the edges. Sprinkle the bacon or prosciutto over the bottom of the pie, then pour over the leek mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes. Let the pie sit and cool for a bit before slicing it.