Food & Drink

Caramelized Leek and Goat Cheese Tart Recipe with Fresh Herb Salad | What’s Cooking

Brunch idea: Caramelized leek and goat cheese tart recipe with fresh herb salad from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Start with crisp, smoky bacon, then sautée some leeks with a little garlic until delicate and flavorful. Whisk together sour cream, tangy goat cheese, thyme, fresh eggs and fold in the bacon and leeks. Pour this rich custard into our buttery, easy-to-prepare tart dough (no rolling required!) and bake for 30 minutes. Bam. Brunch is served! And isn’t it spectacular? (Equally so as a lunch or first course.)

This savory Goat Cheese and Leek Tart is best served with our bright and lemony Fresh Herb Salad, which was specifically developed to go alongside it, and a drizzle of the best aged balsamic vinegar you can get your hands on.

Caramelized leek and goat cheese tart recipe with fresh herb salad from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Goat Cheese and Leek Tart with Fresh Herb Salad
From our Nordstrom Flavors Cookbook
(Serves 6 to 8)

Tart Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of fine sea salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter), chilled, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons ice water, or as needed

To make the tart dough, in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, combine the flour and salt and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the ice water and pulse briefly, just until the dough is moist enough to hold together when pinched between your thumb and forefinger. Add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Place the dough in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Using your fingertips, gently press the dough over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, forming a slightly thicker layer on the sides. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position one oven rack in the upper third and a second rack on the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with aluminum pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the bottom third of the oven until the dough looks set, about 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil, and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking the tart shell until the pastry is light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. If the pastry bubbles, pierce the bubbles with a fork. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 1/2 cups)
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium broth
1/4 pound rindless fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and drain. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan, add the butter, and return the pan to medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the leeks soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the leeks are stewed and tender, about 8 minutes more. Uncover, increase the heat to high, and cook, stirring often, until the broth has completely evaporated, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, mash together the goat cheese and sour cream with a fork. Add the eggs, thyme, salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Stir in the leeks and the cooled bacon. Carefully pour the mixture into the tart shell.

Bake the tart in the upper third of the oven until the filling is gently puffed and lightly browned, and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes our clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the pan sides and return the tart on the pan base to the rack.

Herb Salad
1/2 cup firmly packed small fresh basil leaves (or torn large ones)
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup cut-up fresh chives (1-inch lengths)
1/4 cup firmly packed baby arugula leaves
1/4 cup fresh chervil leaves (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Balsamic vinegar, preferably a high-quality aged vinegar, for garnish

To make the herb salad, in a large bowl toss together the basil, parsley, chives, arugula, chervil (if using) and tarragon. Sprinkle with lemon zest and juice, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss again.

The tart can be served warm or at room temperature. Cut into wedges and place on dinner plates. Arrange a mound of the herb salad next to each tart wedge. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over each wedge and serve immediately.

Caramelized leek and goat cheese tart recipe with fresh herb salad from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Caramelized leek and goat cheese tart recipe with fresh herb salad from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Chef’s note: If you have an artisanal aged balsamic vinegar on your shelf, use it for the garnish. Because of its complex flavor and viscous body, it works better as a garnish than the thin supermarket balsamic vinegar.

Try these recipes and others at a Nordstrom restaurant near you, and find more recipes to make at home in our What’s Cooking series and Nordstrom Cookbooks (available in select Nordstrom restaurants and Ebars).

Have a favorite dish or beverage from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

—Jeff Powell (photos and intro)