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Leek & Jerusalem Artichoke Gratin Recipe
A good winter gratin, when Jerusalem artichokes and leeks are at their best. It is good both a vegetable side dish or a vegetarian main course.
For 6 as a vegetable, 3 to 4 as a main course:
1 lb/500gr Jerusalem Artichokes
The juice of ½ a Lemon
10 oz/290gr clean Leeks, the very dark green leaves discarded
For the Sauce:
1 oz/30gr Butter
1 oz/30gr Flour
½ pint/300ml Milk
¼ pint/150ml Single Cream
2 teaspoons (10fl oz) made-up English Mustard
2 oz/60gr Strong Cheddar Cheese – grated
Salt & freshly-ground Black Pepper
For the topping:
2 tablespoons (30ml) Vegetable Oil
1 medium clove of Garlic, peeled and chopped
4 oz/120gr Breadcrumbs, easily made by grating bread in a food processor
2 tablespoons (30ml) Strong Cheddar – grated
Salt and freshly-grated Black Pepper
Equipment needed: a Lasagne/Shepherds Pie-type ovenproof dish. A Food Processor (optional)
1. Peel and slice the artichokes and put them straight into cold water acidulated with the juice from ½ a lemon.
2. Cut the leeks into strips of about 4 ins/10 cms, blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain them and refresh them under very cold running water. Set these aside.
3. Blanch the artichoke slices in boiling water for 4 minutes, then drain them and carefully mix them with the blanched leeks, and spread them out in an ovenproof baking dish.
4. To make the sauce – melt the butter over a low heat in a saucepan, remove from the heat and mix in the flour, add the mustard, then return to a low heat and slowly blend in the milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese, plus a little salt and pepper and mix well in.
5. Pour the sauce over the prepared vegetables.
6. To make the topping – gently heat the oil in a saucepan, add the chopped garlic and ‘sweat’ very slowly for just 1 minute, without allowing the garlic to colour.
Remove the garlic saucepan from the heat and mix in all the other topping ingredients.
7. Spread this evenly over the baking tray ingredients.
8. Bake in a pre-heated oven 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4 for about 30 minutes or until the topping is golden in colour.