Potato Leek Pie Recipe
The concept of tarte salée ("savory pie" in French) is pretty simple. The flaky dough is made with puff pastry and the filling is usually made from vegetables with a cheese topping. This time around, I made a potato pie. The first inside layer is very similar to the leek quiches I made a few months ago. I topped the pie with gorgonzola cheese for added flavor.
It's easy to assemble once the potato slices are pan-fried. Just pair the pie with a healthy green salad. Enjoy!
Yields: 6 servings1 pound frozen puff pastry dough, store-bought
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (14-ounce) can fried eggplant, chopped
1 cup leek (green part only), diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
1 sprig oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
1-½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
8-10 Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons canola oil, as needed
½ teaspoon paprika (or red chili powder)
¼ cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon garlic chives, snipped
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the tart shell:
Make sure the puff pastry dough is thawed but still cold so it's easy to roll out. Roll the dough using a rolling pin into a 15 x 12-inch rectangle. Place the dough in a non-stick rectangular (12" x 8") tart mold, previously lined with parchment paper; following the curve of the mold, crimp the dough against the edge. Gently press the dough with your fingers so there are no air bubbles. Leave a little excess above the edge because the dough will settle a bit in the oven. Prick the dough with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. Line the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and top with ceramic pie weights (dried beans work well too). Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 12-14 minutes. Remove the pie weights and discard the pieces of parchment paper. Bake for another 2-3 minutes so the pie crust can dry. Remove from the heat and let the dough cool a little down. Set aside.
Making the base of the tart:
In a large, non-stick pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook until the color is translucent, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning. Add the butter, garlic and leeks. Season with salt. Cook until golden (about 5-7 minutes). Add the chopped eggplant, honey (if used) and oregano. Cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture is spreadable and becomes almost like a paste. If you get lumpy pieces of eggplant, do not hesitate to mash them using the back of a spoon. Adjust seasoning. Add black pepper. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
Parboiling the potatoes (see tips): Brush and wash the potatoes. Place them whole in a large pot (no need to peel them). Fill it with cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It's important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a full boil, they might fall apart). As soon as the water reaches a boil, cook for about 10-11 minutes. Test, using a fork; the potatoes should be slightly tender but still firm. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate). Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried thoroughly, cut them into about ½-inch thick slices.
Browning the potatoes:
Divide the sliced potatoes into 2 batches. In the same pan, add the canola oil. Add the first batch of potatoes; don't over-crowd the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Pan-fry for about 2-3 minutes. Using a silicone spatula, flip the potatoes without applying any pressure so they don't get smashed and remain crispy. Cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes until nicely browned. Season with paprika, salt and pepper and set aside. Check for doneness of the potatoes. They should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Adjust seasoning. Repeat with the other batch until all the potatoes are browned on both sides.
Fill the tart shell with the warm leek filling. Sprinkle some gorgonzola cheese and chives. Top with the pan-fried potatoes. Bake at 375°F for about 8 minutes. At the end, to ensure the potatoes are browned, if necessary, change the setting to a broil for about 2 minutes.
Remove from the oven and finish with a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. The dough should be flaky.
Garnish with parsley.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a green salad.
Don't discard the remnants of puff pastry. Make some cheese twists the next day!
It's best to pick cork-shaped potatoes so all the slices are the same size.
You can find canned fried eggplant in most Middle Eastern. If you live in the Bay Area, check out the Rose Market -1060 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94040.
Boiling the potatoes prior to frying is just a way to save some time. You can skip this step, but then it will take longer for the potato slices to become tender when you pan-fry them.
When I buy leeks, I always save the white part for soups or simply steam them and serve as a salad; I cook the green fibrous part as I would use onions. You could also replace the leeks with fennel bulb or celery.
Yukon Gold potatoes are perfect for this dish. The flesh is bright yellow. I added paprika so the color would look richer.
Parboiling means briefly boiling the potatoes. Think "par-tial" boiling = parboiling.
To ensure the crispiness of the potatoes, I cooked them in two separate batches.