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French Countryside Leek Gratin

Leeks: the king of all alliums. We all enjoy other members of the allium family on a regular basis: garlic, onions, shallots and chives. So why are leeks so often forgotten? I’m giving you a New Year’s challenge: eat leeks. Put them in lots of things.

Americans tend to seriously underestimate this beautiful, versatile vegetable. Most people have heard of potato leek soup, but struggle to come up with other recipes that include leeks. Leeks are amazing in everything from pasta to quiches to soups. You can slow cook them with chicken and other root vegetables. They add such a gorgeous flavor to everything they touch. 

My favorite way to eat leeks, though, is on their own topped with a delicious mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and garlic. Leek gratin is about as close to flavor perfection as you can get. Give this simple and DELICIOUS recipe a try and you will be a leek lover for life!

Ingredients:

4-5 large leeks

1 c. water

6 inch piece of baguette

3 garlic cloves

4 oz. Gruyere cheese

2 tsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper

Cut off the dark green tops and root-covered bottoms of the leeks and discard. Then, quarter the leeks lengthwise and clean between all leaves thoroughly to remove dirt. Place the leeks on a cutting board and cut them into 4 inch long pieces so that they are easier to eat. 

Put the leeks and water in a skillet over medium high heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the leeks are very tender. Drain the leeks thoroughly, and then place them in a baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. In the meantime, combine the baguette, cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper and process until finely ground. Place the mixture into a bowl and mix in olive oil. Spread the mixture evenly over the leeks in the baking dish. Top the gratin with small dots of butter.

Cook into the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until the gratin is lightly browned. 

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