It is an unusual week for me and it feels rather odd. I am not having Thanksgiving at my house. Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. I love buying the groceries. I love being in my kitchen for days. And I love having friends and family to share in the feast. But this year a very dear friend of ours has invited us to her home for dinner, and we accepted. My friend extended the invitation long before we knew that my father would have a major surgery last month. Being somewhere else for Thanksgiving is perfect timing. I have just returned from another extended week with my father and am trying to accomplish many things at home. I just don't think I could pull it off this year.
Since I don't have the pressure this week of preparing an entire Thanksgiving meal, I spent my day making a savory Leek & Goat Cheese Tart. It's dinner tonight with the addition of a salad made of greens, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, and Maytag blue cheese. Glass of wine optional.
Leek & Goat Cheese Tart
adapted from a recipe in Wine Spectator Magazine
• 10-inch tart shell, placed in freezer for 15 minutes before baking
• 3 large leeks, white part only, sliced thinly and rinsed in a colander
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
• 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
• 3/4 cup half-and-half
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• black pepper
• pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil, and weight down the foil with beans or rice. Bake the shell for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 375˚, remove beans and foil and return tart shell to oven. Bake until crust is a pale, golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a medium skillet and cook the leeks over moderate heat until soft; about 10 to 15 minutes. Do not brown. Transfer the leeks to the tart shell, spreading evenly over the crust.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour this mixture over the leeks and return the tart to the oven to finish baking for approximately 30 minutes or until the top surface is lightly browned. Let the tart cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.