A few days ago, before the world fell to crap, I asked on Twitter about recipes and kinds of food people wanted recipes for. I got so many great responses and I'll be incorporating those into the blog. The one that stuck with me this was a request for more veggie friendly recipes. I had just seen a beautiful leek gratin on Instagram and I couldn't stop thinking about it.
I consulted my Gratin resources and came up with an extra cheesy gratin that is both a comfort food and a vegetable dish. Molly totally dug it but she's a cheese-hound so she can't be trusted.
This gratin is a fantastic way to incorporate comfort food and vegetables into your meal. It's been super rainy in Seattle this week and we needed a bit of comfort food at dinner. Combined with a nice fish and a small green salad, the gratin helped hit the spot.
I found this awesome shaved cheese blend at Trader Joe's. It was the perfect topping to this gratin. It added a bit of flavor but did not overwhelm the subtlety of the leeks.
Leek Kale Gratin
1 1/2 lbs leeks, trimmed to just white and light green and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup chopped kale, sauteed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup vermouth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
12 oz (1 1/2 cups) Gryuere cheese, grated
1/2 cup shaved cheese blend or shaved parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare your pan. I used a 12" Cast Iron Skillet and lightly greased it. You could also use a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
2. Rinse leeks to remove any dirt and bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Simmer leeks in the water for approximately 5 minutes until tender. Drain well.
3. Using a small saucepan, slowly warm the milk, chicken stock and vermouth. Be careful not to scorch the milk mixture.
4. At the same time as you are warming the milk, prepare the roux. Melt the butter in a thick bottomed pan (a dutch oven is perfect here) over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the flour and cook until the roux is frothy and pale. This should take about a minute.
5. Next slowly add the warmed milk mixture to the roux and whisk until thickened, 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Simmer for a minute or two more.
6. Whisk in the Gruyere until melted.
7. Place the leeks, cut side up in the prepared pan. Spread the sauteed kale over the leeks evenly. Pour the sauce over the leeks and kale. Top with the shaved cheese blend.
8. Bake until the dish is bubbling and golden, approximately 35 minutes.