I think this might be my favourite new way to eat leeks, I can’t believe I haven’t made this in previous years with all the leeks we grow, and plain cheese on toast will forever seem bland for me from now on.
The combination of leeks with cheese, cream, mustard and a little beer is just perfect, and this makes a nice lunchtime alternative to soup (as much as I love soup). It may not be the healthiest recipe so far, but so comforting, and hey it still counts as one of your five-a-day!
- 2 leeks (ours are quite short and fat)
- roughly 15g butter (or a tablespoon)
- 1 heaped tsp plain flour
- 1 heaped tsp mustard powder
- 100ml beer (stronger the better) or you could just use milk here
- 1 tbsp cream or creme fraiche (optional, but makes it creamier)
- 100g strong cheddar, grated
- 1 tbsp soft cream cheese (I used Boursin with garlic and herbs)
- bread for toasting (preferably thick and crusty)
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Leek Welsh rarebit:
Slice and then more finally chop the leeks. Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat and add the leeks, then cook them gently until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in the flour and mustard powder to coat the leeks, then pour in the beer. Stir into a thick paste, then add the cream, cream cheese and half the grated cheddar. Stir the mixture together and continue to cook for a few more minutes, then take off the heat and leave to cool very slightly. Toast the bread lightly on one side under a hot grill, flip over, top with the cheesy leek mixture and then scatter over the rest of the grated cheese. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce if using, and put back under the grill until brown. Serve.
This mixture should be enough to cover 3 slices of bread, so obviously just increase the quantities if you want to feed more people. If you have some left over, pop it in the fridge for another day and you can use it to make the following alternative.
Cheesy leek toasties:
Make the leek mixture exactly as above, but once cooled put it in a bowl or tupperware and pop into the fridge to completely cool down. You can leave it for a few days okay until you want to use it.
When you’re ready for a toastie, butter 2 slices of bread and make a sandwich with the leek mixture, BUT make sure the buttered side is on the outside. Then either place the sandwich into a lightly oiled pan over a gentle heat, or put under a moderate grill (you don’t want the bread to toast before the filling heats through) until the bread is golden brown, flip over and toast the other side.
As you can see I added a slice of ham below the cheesy leeks, completely optional.
Update: I forgot to add a credit. This was from The Garden to Kitchen Expert, by Judith Wills & Dr. D. G. Hessayon, which came from my local library. It’s a slight adaptation, a bit less flour and butter with the addition of cream, and beer instead of milk and cider. I can easily see this book being renewed a few times over, before accidentally slipping into my Amazon basket.