leek, spinach + herb crostata

A crostata is a rustic tart made with a flaky pie crust and filled with just about any vegetable or meat combination. We love this base of ricotta and goat cheese topped with fresh seasonal vegetables, but feel free to substitute the vegetable combination for anything similar. For a bit of spice, add a (good) pinch of crushed red pepper flakes with the garlic.

1 1/4 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
4 tablespoons ice water

1 leek, white and light green parts, trimmed and chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 cups packed baby spinach, washed and dried
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 large eggs, divided
Cornmeal, for dusting

  1. Make dough. In a food processor, combine flour and salt. Add butter and process until mixture becomes coarse crumbs, 5-10 seconds. With machine running, add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together when pressed between your fingers, no more than 30 seconds. Dough should not be wet or sticky, and small bits of butter should still be visible when done. If necessary, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  2. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  3. Place leeks in a sieve and rinse under cold water several times to remove dirt. Pat completely dry and set aside.
  4. In a large sauté pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add spinach and cook until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Sir in parsley and thyme and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Place a pizza stone on middle rack in oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
  6. Meanwhile, place ricotta, goat cheese, mustard, and 1 egg in a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Lightly flour a pizza peel and set aside.
  8. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap from plastic. On a lightly-floured surface, gently roll dough with a floured rolling pin into a large circle, about 1/4-inch thick (about 12 inches around). Transfer dough to pizza peel. Spread center of dough with cheese mixture, leaving about a 1-inch border around outside edge of dough. Scatter leek/spinach mixture evenly over cheese. Starting at end nearest you, fold up 1-inch border of pastry by lifting dough slightly over filling. Continue doing this around entire crostata, pleating dough together as you go to secure dough and prevent filling from oozing out during baking. Center of filling will still be exposed when you’re finished (you’ll have an enclosed, 1-inch border around entire crostata). Season top with salt and pepper.
  9. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush outside edge of dough with egg wash.
  10. Open oven door and pull out middle rack. Carefully dust a thin layer of cornmeal onto hot pizza stone (this will prevent crostata from sticking to stone). Transfer crostata to pizza stone and bake for 45-50 minutes, until crust is lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4.