Thursday, December 28, 2006

Leek & Vegetable Gratin

My hemming and hawing on how to use the fabulous giant leeks I'd recently purchased (quite inexpensively) paid off in spades when I rejected all the recipes I'd reviewed and created this delicious Leek & Vegetable Gratin. This bold tasting gratin of leeks, potato, rutabaga, carrots, white beans and dino kale in a cheddar-apple cider gratin sauce made a hearty and comforting winter dinner. Honestly, I could've eaten the whole thing myself! The sauce was exceptional and made a lovely change. Cayenne pepper was the perfect finish.

Leek & Vegetable Gratin:

2 tbsp butter
2 very large leeks
1 large rutabaga (Swede), peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 large potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
2 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 bunch dinosaur kale, ribbed and torn
6 oz white Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup apple cider (I used hard cider)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

S & P
Cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.

Cut the leeks in quarters from the base, leaving the top part attached. Soak in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to eliminate any grit/mud that may be caught inside. Slice the leeks, both the white and a good part of the green.

Heat salted water in a medium saucepan and parboil the rutabaga until tender (about 10 minutes). Add the potato as the water starts to boil and the carrot for the last 2 minutes. Drain.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the leeks until almost tender (5-8 minutes). Add the kale and cook 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add the vegetables and beans, stirring until well mixed. Season.

Make the sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour, cook for 2 minutes stirring continuously. Add the milk and heat, stirring until thickened (4-5 minutes). Add the cheese and the cider and turn off the heat. Stir until well combined and smooth, using additional cider to get a fairly runny sauce.

Place the vegetable mix in a gratin dish. Stir in the sauce and bake for 15 minutes. Finish under the broiler for 3 minutes, so the top of the sauce is beginning to blacken. Serve, powdered with Cayenne pepper.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

YUM, Catherine! I'll be making this tonight. After all the holiday indulgences, all I can think of are veggies!

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks smashing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gotta tell ya - this recipe looks amazing!
I also wanted to stop by and say how how much I've enjoyed your blog and wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year!

9:35 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Happy New Year Catherine!
This looks lovely, particularily the cheddar-apple cider gratin sauce! I've been thinking of doing a gratin and this sauce is especially inspiring.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Hi Catherine, I tried this recipe last night, and it was amazing! The cheese sauce alone reminded me of fonde (I too used hard cider), but mixed with the veggies it gave everything a great flavor without taking over. So, so good! Thanks for sharing!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi Erica,

I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe. The cheese sauce can be used for lots of recipes. It's one of my fav go-to recipes.
Happy Holidays and thanks for visiting!

5:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home