I absolutely LOVE Leeks. They give such a wonderful sweetness to most any dish. I use them in omelets and soup all the time but finding a side dish with leeks as the main attraction instead of an accent is hard to find. I found this recipe in the New York Times several years ago and it is one of my favorites.
I had to adapt it because, 1. it served way to many people for me to make for just my husband and me and 2. I was missing some of the ingredients that the recipe called for and as we are under lock down a quick trip to the store was out of the question. These days we have to innovate and use what we have on hand. So, what you get today is my version, a simpler and smaller version of the original but just as good none the less.
What I love about this recipe is the smooth creaminess of the leeks, onion and cheese topped off with a crunchy panko crust that is buttery and oh so yummy.
This is the perfect side dish for a steak, chop or piece of chicken. The richness plays off perfectly with a simple piece of meat and nice green salad.
Thank you Melissa Clark for the inspiration, this one is a keeper.
Leek and Spring Onion Gratin
- 2 med Leeks
- 3 Green Onions
- 1 Shallot
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 tbsp Butter Cubed
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese Grated
- 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/3 cup Gruyere or Itialian Blend Grated Cheese
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut your leeks length wise and cut off any of the tough green ends. Run under cold water and clean well. Cut white and light green parts only into 1" long pieces and lay cut side down in the bottom of a 6" oven proof skillet. Quarter the shallot and lay it in among the leeks. Slice the green onion and sprinkle over the leeks and shallot. Cube up the butter and sprinkle on top of the leek mixture. Pour 1/4 cup water over the leek mixture and sprinkle with salt and thyme, cover and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes until the leeks are soft. Uncover and continue to cook until the water has evaporated and the leeks start to brown around the edges. Meanwhile in a separate bowl combine the panko bead crumbs, Parmesan, olive oil and red pepper and set aside. Sprinkle the cheese over the leek mixture and pour in the cream and cover it all with the panko break crumbs. Place in the oven for 15 -20 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.