Its cold, its miserable, its muddy…On top of that we all have some flu like disease which is leaving the vast majority of Church Farm staff in a state of zombification. We all need some hearty nutritious comfort food to warm the cockles and cheer the heart. Leeks are one of my favourites from the allium family. Like all alliums, they are so versatile, so easy to get hold of, and so tasty! You can’t beat a giant bowl of gut busting sausage and leek stroganoff; make sure you get good quality sausages, and add a big spoonful of paprika and lots of lemon juice to your sauce. A-ma-zing.
But today, I am going to showcase the leeks as this is the topic of today’s conversation. The recipe still involves a white dairy based product as the base of the sauce, but instead of crème fraiche, we have double cream. Oh yes ladies and gentleman, this is not one to try if you are watching those waistlines!
This is originally a James Martin recipe, and normally I wouldn’t tamper as I think he is a great chef, but over the years it has become my own just a little bit. You will need:
- 4 leeks sliced relatively thinly
- A few shallots diced
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 150ml white wine
- 10 tablespoons of double cream (very precise I know, but cooking with cream and milk scares me, so I haven’t had the nerve to estimate so that I can just chuck it in yet!)
- A big mix of grated cheddar and hard blue cheese
- Small handful of chopped parsley
- 1 beefsteak tomato thinly sliced
Melt some butter and a little olive oil in a pan, add the leeks, shallots, garlic and thyme and cook until softened. Pour in the white wine and bubble away for 5 minutes. Add the double cream, season with salt and pepper and gently simmer for another 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to an over proof dish and leave to cool. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C. Once the leeks have cooled, scatter over most of the grated cheese. Lay the tomato slices over the cheese to form a layer, and scatter over the parsley, followed by the rest of the cheese. Bake for around 30 minutes.
This is a side dish, but to be honest, who is going to judge if you curl up in front of Doctor Who with just this and a big spoon. It covers most food groups, and is delicious. When you receive your leeks in your boxes, they will store quite happily in the fridge for the week, but might be a bit bendy come next Friday! Enjoy!