This is for all who enjoy eating and cooking with leeks. Leeks have a subtle sweet onion flavour but can be used in many dishes. This recipe is creamy, luscious and most importantly delicious. It can be enjoyed on its own or served as an accompaniment with a variety of meats or other vegetarian dishes. If you don’t use leeks in your cooking or haven’t tried them, don’t be shy give them a go you won’t be disappointed.
3 leeks (washed, cleaned & sliced)
1 kg medium Desiree potatoes (cooked, slice or cube)
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
40 grams unsalted butter
4 medium eggs
3 egg yolks
300 ml thickened cream
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
200 grams Gruyère (freshly grated)
50 grams Parmeson (freshly grated)
salt & freshly ground black pepper
extra melted butter for basting the tin (spring-form 25cm tin)
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45-60 minutes (time may vary)
Serves: 4-6 people
Place the the whole potatoes in a pot, cover with enough water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until cooked. You can check if they are ready by using a skewer or a knife and if it easily penetrates through the potatoes are ready. Drain the water and allow to cool down to enable handling. Once cooled, peel, cut or slice and set aside.
Heat the olive oil, butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the leeks. Sauté the leeks for 10 to 15 minutes reducing the heat to ensure that they sweat rather than brown. Once sautéed remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Whilst the leeks are cooling, preheat the oven to 200°C for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs, egg yolks, cream, nutmeg, half the Gruyère, salt and pepper. Coat the base of the tin with a few tablespoons of the egg mixture, then use half of the mixture to combine with the potatoes and mix the rest in with the leeks. Layer half the potato mixture over the base of the tin, then add half the leek mixture. Repeat this process until you have filled the tin. Scatter over the remaining Gruyère, Parmesan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until golden on the top. You can check by inserting a skewer or knife into the centre, if it appears runny, cook for a little longer until it feels firm. Reduce the temperature to 180°C while baking.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool down to room temperature before serving. Run a knife around the edge of the bake to ensure it doesn’t stick to the tin when you remove it.
Before washing the leek cut off approximately 1 inch off the dark green leaves. You will also need to cut the root off the white part of the leek. Cut the leek lengthwise and fan out, rinse under running water. If you find that the leek is especially dirty you may want to further cut the leek and fan out. Run the leek under running water until you are satisfied that all the dirt and sand has been washed away. With a paper towel pat dry the leek to remove the remainder of the water.
The potatoes can be cooked ahead of time. I prepare them the day before, cool them and refrigerate overnight. They are firm and easy to peel, cut or slice and are ready for the bake.
For this dish I used a round spring-form cake tin, I wanted to serve the bake in wedge style pieces. The tin was lined with baking paper to ensure the mixture doesn’t ooze out.
If the bake needs longer in the oven and has browned on top, cover the tin with aluminium foil and then put back in the oven to cook longer. This will prevent the bake from darkening on top.