This leek and potato gratiné is a much lighter alternative to a classic gratiné. It’s vegetarian, gluten free; not vegan but very tasty. We used milk instead of cream and very little cheddar cheese for our leek and potato gatiné.
The turmeric imparts a lovely golden colour and the chilli oil and thyme sprigs provide very cool flavours all round.
Fresh leek about 275 grams
1 large fresh leek from the supermarket is fine, weight of around 300 grams BEFORE you chop off the ends etc
fresh red chilli 1/4 tsp
You could use the oil from your red chilli jar if you prepare and keep your own, very versatile ingredient
Fresh Milk 500 ml
I used low fat Koita organic lactose free milk, but you can use any milk you like, skimmed may be a little too watery and some of the nut milks can be a little sweet.
Cheddar Cheese 60 grams
I used very little cheddar cheese to get a crispy, golden top with a melty feel. Mature cheddar is good, otherwise any cheddar will do.
Cottage Cheese 100 grams
About half a small tub, I used the Jocca brand.
Fresh Thyme Sprigs 1/4 tsp
Fresh chopped garlic 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
grapeseed oil to fry the leeks
Good olive oil is fine as well.
A little olive oil for the top
How to Make
Wash and slice up the leeks. Then heat the grapeseed oil in your wok and add leeks, sauté till soft and add in some salt and pepper and chilli oil if you like. Allow to cool.
Peel and slice up the potatoes, no need to peel if using new potatoes.Then put the milk in your saucepan and turn on to a gentle heat. Add your sliced potatoes to the milk with the salt, pepper, turmeric, chilli and chilli oil and fresh garlic. When potatoes are tender, drain them from the milk but KEEP THE MILK mixture for later.
layering up the dish ready for the oven
Brush a baking dish with some oil and start by putting a layer of potatoes not overlapping much in the bottom of the dish. Then cover with a layer of leek mixture. Next spoon on some ricotta cheese. Then spoon on some of your milk from the potato mixture. Repeat the layers, I used 2 layers and fill the “holes” in the top layer with cottage cheese. Finally top with some grated cheddar cheese to get a golden, melty crust and add a little more of the milk mixture. Top with sprigs of thyme, fresh coarse black pepper and a little olive oil. BAKE in a hot oven for 20 minutes.
Serve as is for a vegetarian main dish or a substantial side for more traditional proteins.
Add some crusty sourdough bread, ideally from Birch Café in The Greens if you live in Dubai. A spinach salad compliments it well.
Quick Shopping List
- 1 large fresh leek
- 3 or 4 small new potatoes
- Fresh milk
- Cheddar cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Fresh chopped garlic
- Red chilli and some chilli oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Turmeric powder
- Grapeseed oil to fry
- Olive oil for the top
FREEKEH AND QUINOA LENTILS VEGAN MAIN COURSE
Try one NEW recipe this week that you make from scratch, avoiding all junk or processed food.