I picked up a some beautiful leeks at the market this weekend, intending to make my Golden Chickpea Salad. The rainy weather, however steered my cravings to something a little more in the “comfort food” category. So, creamed leeks it was.
Creamy Cheesy Baked Leeks
- 5 decent size leeks
- glug of olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced finely or crushed
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme (or half a teaspoon of dried)
- 1/2 c. chicken stock
- 1/2 c. heavy cream (you could probably go a little lighter here)
- 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1 c. aged cheddar, grated – divided into 2 X 1/2 c. portions
1) Wash and trim your leeks. Leeks are notoriously dirty vegetables, so give them a really good wash. I usually trim both ends and then cut them in half length wise, so you have 2 half-moons. This allows me to really get into their many layers. You only need the white and pale green parts for this recipe so once they are washed, chop them up.
2) Preheat your oven to 400 F.
3) Get out a nice big saute pan and add a healthy glug of olive oil. Heat it up on medium heat.
4) Add the garlic to the pan and allow it to sautee for a few minutes. When it starts to take on that golden colour, add the leeks and thyme. Give these about 5 minutes, enough time for the leeks to soften. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
5) Add the chicken stock to the pan, and cook for another 5 minutes, reducing the stock by approximately half.
6) Whisk the heavy cream and the dijon mustard together. Add 1/2 c. of the grated cheese. Add this mixture to the leeks.
7) Pour the mixture into a oven-proof dish that is wide enough to give you a layer of leeks about an inch thick. Cover with the remaining 1/2 c. of cheese and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
I served these with a big, juicy steak and steamed potatoes. Very comforting….