CARAMELIZED LEEK AND ONION TARTLETS
This month, we’re highlighting leeks with mini tartlets. They’re simple to make and your guests
will love them. They have a delicate onion flavor and sweetness from the caramelization. The
Gruyere gives them a nutty and salty taste, but feel free to swap it for your favorite cheese.
- One large leek
- One onion, finely chopped
- One tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup half and half
- One egg, slightly beaten
- One cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Two tsp fresh thyme, minced
- Six sheets of phyllo dough
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop off the green top part of the leek and the root off the bottom, then slice the leek lengthwise. Slice and finely chop.
In a skillet, melt one tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they caramelize. Add in the leek, a pinch of salt and pepper, and sweat until the leeks are soft. In a bowl, combine the half and half, egg, and grated cheeses. Add in the thyme, then pour this mixture into the skillet. Stir to combine.
Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on a flat surface and brush on a thin layer of the melted butter to cover the whole sheet. Lay another sheet on top and continue this process until you have layered three sheets. Repeat to make a separate stack. Cut each stack of phyllo into 12 square pieces each. Grease two mini tart/muffin tins with melted butter, then lay the buttered phyllo in each cup so that it comes up the sides to make a nest. Spoon the mixture into each tart and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges are nicely brown and the cheese has melted.
Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
Vitamin K is necessary for the formation of prothrombin, a type of protein that plays an essential role in coagulation (clotting), which helps the body to heal from wounds. The vitamin may also play a role in maintaining bone mineral density (3, 4, 5). Folate is particularly important during pregnancy as the vitamin helps to prevent neural tube defects and other pregnancy-related complications (6, 7).Vitamin B6 has several roles, and it is crucial for brain development, immune health, and metabolism (8).Lastly, vitamin C is an essential nutrient with antioxidant properties that plays a crucial role in the immune system (9).
It is thought that organosulfur compounds may potentially have cancer-protective effects. On this note, a variety of studies have demonstrated that organosulfur compounds play a regulatory role in enzymes that both detoxify and activate carcinogens (11, 13, 14).In research relating specifically to leeks, a case-control study featuring 285 women found that a higher intake of leeks was significantly associated with a lower risk of breast cancer (15).Furthermore, numerous observational studies find an association between Allium vegetable intake and reduced risk of several different cancers (11, 16, 17, 18, 19).