Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Leek & Broccoli Bake

Everyone likes creamed leeks, but I decided to take this one step further to give that classic side-dish an additional crunchy texture by making a delicious bake. This is packed with vegetables, a tasty, creamy sauce and a more-ish breadcrumb topping. Perfect!

Top tip: You can give this a spicy edge with a pinch of paprika.

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

Leek - 1 large
Broccoli - 1 large
Shallots - 3
Butter - 50g
Plain Flour - 50g
Bread - 2 slices
Parmesan - large grated handful
Cheddar - large grated handful
Nutmeg - 3/4 tsp
Milk - 150-200mls
Vegetable Stock Cube - 1
Parsley/Coriander - to garnish

1. Slice the leek and break the broccoli into small florets. Place in a pan of boiling, salted water and par-boil for 3-4 minutes.

2. Peel and roughly chop the shallots. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a low heat, and add the shallots. Sauté until softened. Stir in the flour, and cook for a further minute.

3. Add a little milk at a time, stirring continuously over a low heat, until you get a creamy consistency. Mix in the cheddar, and allow to melt. Stir in the nutmeg and crumble in the stock cube, and allow to dissolve.

4. Drain the vegetables, and add them to the sauce ensuring they are well covered. Transfer to a baking dish/casserole dish.

5. To make the breadcrumb topping, use a food processor to break the bread up. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the creamy vegetables, ensuring an even cover. Then sprinkle on the parmesan generously, and season with salt and pepper. You can also add a little oil or butter on top if you're not counting calories!

6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes, or until crispy and browned on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and serve the dish to the table as-is with garnish, or in portions.

This goes perfectly with any roast meat, so why not try it with my Braised Lamb Shank, Rolled Lamb Shoulder with Pecorino & Mint, Sherry & Honey Glazed Roast Ham, or Chilli & Rosemary Stuffed Poussin.

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