I love leeks – they are easy to grow, cheap to buy and you can do lots with them.
Having looked around the supermarkets this morning, it seems 500 grams of leeks are about £1.00 from Asda, Morrison’s, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose with the cheapest (as I write) at Lidl for 69p. We better get using them!
Leek Macaroni and Cheese
- 100 g macaroni
- 10 grams of butter
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- a little thyme
- white sauce : 20grams plain flour 300 mls milk 100g cheese
Cook macaroni as per instructions on packet in boiling water.
Melt butter and add leeks with some thyme to taste and cook till soft.
Add the flour to the leeks in a pan and cook for 2 mins. Add milk slowly, stirring all the time till thickened. Add grated cheese and stir well.
Add the drained pasta and pour into an ovenproof dish. Top with breadcrumbs and grill until golden.
Leek and Potato Soup with cheesy mustard croutons
- 10 grams butter
- 2 leeks
- 1 teasp dried tarragon (optional)
- 1 large potato
- 500 ml stock with boiling water and a stock cube
- 30 grams watercress (optional)
Melt butter in a large pan and add chopped leeks and tarragon. Add the chopped potato and stock. Bring to boil and cook until potato is soft. Add the watercress if using, simmer for 3 minutes and blend till smooth.
Preheat grill to high and toast 2 slices of bread/baguette until crisp. Spread each slice with some Dijon mustard and top with some grated cheese (any kind you like)
Put the soup into a bowl and top with a cheesy crouton and serve.
Leek risotto with poached egg (one of my all time favourites)
- 30 grams frozen broad beans or peas, cooked
- some butter and oil
- 1 leek
- 10g / 2 oz Arborio/ risotto rice
- ½ glass Dry white wine (don’t worry if no wine, just make up with extra stock)
- ½ pint hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Teaspoon butter
- 1 Teaspoon olive oil
- A little cream or crème fraiche
- 30g/1oz grated parmesan cheese
- juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoon parsley chopped
Obviously, we are now experts in risotto but (just in case you don’t want to keep looking back) here it is again.
Melt a knob of butter with a little oil and add the thinly sliced leek and cook till soft over a low heat.
Increase the heat and add the rice turning it in to the buttery leeky mix. SLOWLY add the stock (remember a tablespoon at a time to begin with), stirring all the time in between additions until the rice is soft.
Add the beans and/or peas.
Remove from the heat and add the lemon, parsley and cheese.
Pile into a bowl and top with a poached egg – delicious!