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Cheesy leeks with crispy crumb
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By Alex Head
'One of the first things my granny taught me to cook was a white sauce, and it’s still one of my staples. I challenge anyone to find a better partner for roast pork than these sweet, salty, crunchy-topped cheesy leeks.'
3 large leeks, cut into 2cm-long pieces
25g salted butter
25g plain flour
220ml whole milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch grated nutmeg
120g mature cheddar, grated
30g parmigiano reggiano, grated
1 tbsp thyme leaves (about 7 sprigs)
3 tbsp white breadcrumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Blanch the leeks in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain and cool under cold water; set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat, add the flour and stir until the flour is cooked (about 1-2 minutes; the paste should become paler). Whisk in ½ the milk until it thickens, then whisk in the rest and keep whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add the mustard and nutmeg, then take off the heat, stir in both cheeses and season.
3. Transfer the leeks to an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the thyme leaves and pour over the white sauce. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, then bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2020.