Baked Leeks in Cream

Zoie's note: Leeks are one of our family's favorite summer and fall veggies.  You can get two harvests if you start them early enough in the season.  We use this recipe in the fall as some cool weather comfort food.  If you would like, you can split this recipe into four and use ramekins to make four equal portions to be served as an entrée.

Ingredients:

-1¼ cup milk
-4 large leeks (8 medium if you are using early season leeks)
-4 strips of lean bacon
-1 egg beaten lightly
-1 tbs. mustard
-2/3 cup cream
-1 cup grated cheese (a nice aged cheddar is best but feel free to mix and match cheeses)

Directions:

1. Rinse leeks under running water and be sure to get all of the dirt that is in
    between the leaves off. You may need to rinse them in a colander once they
    are sliced. Slice leeks into 1½ inch chunks.

2. Combine leeks, milk, and a dash of salt and pepper in a pan and bring to a
    boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.

3. While leeks are boiling, butter a shallow baking dish and fry bacon. I like to start
    out on a medium heat so that more of the fat runs off and then turn heat up at
    the end to crisp.

4. Drain bacon on wire rack or over paper towel.

5. Drain leeks, reserving all cooking liquid and put leeks in buttered baking dish.

6. Chop bacon into ½ inch pieces and sprinkle over the leeks.

7. Use small pot to combine the beaten egg, cream, and mustard together along
     with the reserved cooking liquid and heat on medium low. **Do not boil.**
     When the sauce begins to thicken, taste and adjust salt and pepper to your
     liking.

8. Pour sauce over leeks and bacon.

9. Sprinkle cheese over the top and broil for a few minutes to melt cheese.

This recipe serves four as a main entrée with crusty bread to dip into the rich cream sauce or serves six as a side dish.  Feel free to skip the bacon if you like or to mix and match cheeses.



Zoie Glass, owner of
Lucille's Kitchen Garden