Leeks have been the understudy for far too long (unless of course they are in the famous potato leek soup). They deserve a starring role all by themselves. Gratin of Leeks is their chance to step into the spotlight.
In this recipe you may leave the leeks as long split cut logs ready to be cut on the plate, or you can cut them into little ringlets before baking so they become a spoonable side dish (see photo, below). Either way, once cooked, their deep, sweet flavor with a crunchy, golden, cheesy and herby gratin topping will sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
This recipe is just something I created using ingredients and textures that I love. Sorry to disappoint you by not having a story about my grandmother, my heritage, vintage recipes, restaurant experiences and/or dish re-creations. This of course, is said tongue-in-cheek. I’ve recently read a number of articles where blog followers are split between wanting just the recipe and no story, and those who want a personal connection and knowledge of the recipe’s provenance. I believe you know where I stand. Usually if one just wants a recipe, it may be found in a cookbook.
Did you enjoy reading or making the recipe from this post? If so, please consider giving it a “like” or a comment. It would be nice to know you are out there and that my posts connect with you.
Gratin of Leeks
- 5 – 6 leeks
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) white wine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
- 3 cups fresh (not dried) breadcrumbs
- 1 cup Parmesan or Grana Padana cheese, grated
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 cup finely minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon finely minced rosemary
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt)
For the Leeks
For the Gratin
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C)
- Clean the leeks by slicing them lengthwise in half stopping just short of the root end, and run water through the peels to remove any dirt. Cut off and discard the tough dark green leaves. The light green part of the leeks is fine to eat. Set the leeks aside to let the water drain
- Make the fresh breadcrumbs by tearing off pieces of fresh or day-old bread and using a blender or food processor, pulse until you have fine crumbs. TIP: Leftover breadcrumbs freeze well
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the gratin ingredients and mix thoroughly. Set aside
- Butter an 8-inch by 8-inch (20 cm) casserole baking dish
- CHOICES: Either cut the leeks into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces (easier to serve and eat) or leave them as long split logs cut side facing up (perhaps more elegant, but you’ll need a sharp knife to cut them on the plate). Either way, place them in the baking dish and dot them with butter, then pour the vegetable or chicken stock and the wine over the leeks
- Evenly spread the gratin mixture over the leeks and bake at 350 F (180 C) for 45 minutes. Let the baking dish rest for 10-15 minutes before serving