We hosted the winter edition of Ottolenghi club this year, giving us the opportunity to bust out something a bit more complicated (we're usually constrained by needing something that will hold up to bike transport). Somehow this indulgent broccoli pie from Plenty has never caught our attention before, and it fit the bill perfectly.
It's a bit of faffing around, especially if you're anxious about pastry (I called in Cindy for the tricky bits), but the effort definitely pays off. I mean it's hard to imagine a pie filled with double cream and fancy cheese is ever going to let you down, but this on really delivers. The gorgonzola is rich, but the baking tones down its pungency a bit and it combines brilliantly with the creamy mustard leek and the chunks of broccoli. I'd definitely recommend splashing out on some more expensive pastry for this one - the beautiful golden crust was a highlight.
Our guests brought along some excellent accompaniments - the orange and date salad and the barley and pomegranate salad were fresh additions to all the richness of the pie. Stay tuned to see what Cindy made for dessert!
Broccoli & gorgonzola pie
(from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty)
~500g all-butter puff pastry
2 broccoli heads, cut into florets
4 leeks, trimmed and sliced
150ml double cream
15g chives, chopped
15g tarragon, chopped
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 teaspoon salt
200g gorgonzola, cut into rough cubes
1 egg, beaten
Ottolenghi says that you can make the filling while the tart is baking, but I found it much easier to do all the filling prep first, so I've rejigged the recipe here - it takes more time, but I would have found the alternative way too stressful.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the broccoli for about 2 minutes - you just want them to have gone a tiny bit tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the leeks over low heat for 15 minutes, until they've softened right up (but not caramelised). Add the cream,, water, herbs, mustard, salt and some pepper and stir it all together. Take the leek mix off the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Roll out two-thirds of the pastry into a circle big enough to cover a 25cm pie tin (it should be about 2mm thick). Make little holes in the pastry with a fork.
Cover the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill it with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes, until it's light brown. Take the paper and beans out and give it another 5 so that it goes golden. Leave to cool.
Spread the leek mixture over the bottom of your pastry case. Gently press the broccoli florets into the leek mix and then dot with the gorgonzola chunks.
Roll out a lid for your pie with the remaining pastry and then brush the edges of the pie case with the beaten egg before laying the lid on top. Try to make a good seal between the lid and the base, trimming off any excess pastry.
Glaze the lid with more of the beaten egg and bake the pie for 30 minutes, until golden brown.