Leek spinach tart

vegetarian recipe for leek spinach tart, slices served on wooden board

5 from 1 reviews

Perfect vegetarian tart, that makes a great brunch or dinner meal. Perfect for potlucks too.




  • 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 TBSPs | 140g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 35 tablespoons ice-cold water


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
  • 12 oz (350g) frozen spinach, thawed and drained (yields about 1 cup)
  • one leek (8oz | 230g) trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • heaping cup (5oz | 150g) Edam cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whipping cream
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ground nutmeg
  • sea salt
  • a handful of pine nuts (about 1/3 cup)


  1. First make the pastry: Coarsely grate the butter (I use a box grater) and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Add flour and briefly pulse. Add 3 TBSPs of ice-cold water and pulse until the dough starts to come together.  If needed add more water by the tablespoon. You have to be able to pinch dough together with your fingers. Form dough into a disk, wrap well and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Allow dough to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C), with a rack in the middle of the oven. Flour your work surface and roll out the dough, rotating it as you do so, so it doesn’t stick. Roll it out slightly bigger than the pan. Transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan (that you previously brushed with oil to prevent sticking). Press dough into the bottom and up the sides, slice away any overhang. Pierce pastry with a fork, line it with oiled parchment paper and fill with dry (or baking) beans. Transfer pan to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the crust is fully baked, almost golden. Take out of the oven and set aside; lower the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C). 
  3. Make the filling: In a skillet, warm olive oil on medium-high heat and add leeks. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are wilted. Add spinach, teaspoon of salt, garlic powder and a grind of pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes, until combined. Set aside. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg in a small bowl. 
  4. Evenly arrange the spinach filling into the tart shell. Sprinkle 1/2 cheese over the spinach. Slowly pour over the egg mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and pine nuts. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is golden and set, cheese bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature, keep leftover tart in the refrigerator. 


For easier handling, I like to bake my tarts on baking sheets, especially if the tart pan has a removable bottom. It makes taking it hot out of the oven so much easier.

If you prefer fresh spinach, you can use that instead. Coarsely chop it or simply use baby spinach then add it to  the leeks and cook until it shrinks, a few minutes. If you end up with too much filling for the crust, store leftover filling in the refrigerator for up to a day and use it in a breakfast omelette. Simply whisk 1-2 eggs with the filling and cook as you would any other omelette or frittata.

You can use other cheeses instead of Edam. I prefer a cheese with a mild taste in this tart. If you’re using a cheese that has a stronger flavor and is saltier, add less salt to your spinach and egg mixtures, otherwise you’ll end up with a very salty tart. If using mozzarella, use the aged, drier kind. Add some Parmesan to it for flavor.

As mentioned above, you can serve this warm or cold. You can easily reheat it in the microwave. If saving for next day, cover it completely with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This recipe is adapted from  Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook (1995 version).