• 7–8 slim leeks, about
• 2 lb (1 kg) in total
• Salt and black pepper
• 1/2 lb (250 g) fresh puff pastry
• 1 tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard
• 1 medium egg
• 3/4 cup (175 ml) cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Put kettle of water on to boil.

2. Trim leeks to length of about 7 in. (18 cm) and rinse them. Arrange in single layer in wide frying pan, pour on boiling water from kettle, add pinch of salt, return to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 6–8 minutes.

3. While leeks cook, roll out puff pastry on lightly floured surface to 10 in. (25 cm) square, then transfer pastry square onto baking sheet.

4. Cut 1/2 in. (1 cm) strip of pastry from each of four sides. Dampen area around edge of square with water and trim pastry strips to fit flat on top of dampened edges, so that they look like picture frame; press lightly into place.

5. Drain leeks and cool under cold running water. Drain again, then wrap in folded dish cloth and press gently to remove remaining moisture.

6. Arrange leeks inside pastry case and brush with mustard. Break egg into small bowl and beat lightly, then brush border of tart with beaten egg. Grate cheddar cheese and spread evenly over top of leeks.

7. Bake on top rack of oven for 15 minutes, or until pastry is risen and golden and cheese has melted and is bubbling. Remove from oven and cut into quarters with serrated-edged knife. Serve hot or warm.

Serves 4

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