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Leek Gratin

October 15, 2008

 

(This post appears courtesy of Food Junta, and it also appears on their blog.)

 

The seasonal chef is in the house, ladies and gentlemen, and the vegetable of the week is leeks. Leeks are the onion’s fancy-pants cousin. More expensive and with a more nuanced flavor. If onions are Roseanne, leeks are Frasier.

Onions remain the go-to allium for most dishes, but if you’re looking from something to stand on its own, leeks are your plant.

And that’s about all I’ve got to say. Generally, I’ll use these posts to give you some info and insight on a particular vegetable, but there’s just not that much to say about leeks. So there. Instead, lots of pictures, and a little recipe, after the jump.

Start with some leeks. The smaller the better for this, but the Whole Foods near me only had enormous ones. They worked just fine, but took a little longer to get tender.

You eat the white base of leeks, not the green tops, so chop them off about an inch above the white. Cut off the roots as well, then slice the leeks in half lengthwise. They should now peel off easily in layers to give you little leek ribs:

Wash these really thoroughly, as leeks tend to collect a lot of grit.

Butter a baking dish and add the leeks. Then pour about a cup of cream over the leeks and stir them around a bit. You can definitely use less cream if you like, but I’ve never heard anyone say “Oh my god, there’s too much cream in this.” Add in a little bit of salt and pepper.

Finally, attack the leeks with parmesan cheese:

Hmm. Butter, cream, and cheese. There’s a prettylow potential for failure here, so just throw the dish into a 400 degree oven for 15, 20, even 25 minutes until the leeks are tender and it looks like this:

Now eat it, and I’d say the leeks pretty much speak for themselves…

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