Sunday, 6 March 2011

Potato and leek bake with sweet garlic broccoli

Okay. Even the lovely people at Riverford Farms have admitted we've waded through a lot of leeks this winter. I reckon this is their last hurrah for a good half year or so in our house... in fact I risk some kind of insurrection otherwise. Seasonal eating, eh? Actually there are some leek recipes I could still hurl in - like vegan leek pancakes, which are quite fab. Anyway this bake is yummy and, as ever, leeks repay patience, so the longer you can let this crisp up and bake through, the better. If you don't have pine kernals to hand, hurl in some sweetcorn and you'll get away with it.


Potato and leek bake

3 medium sized leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced
4 small to medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Tablespoon of fresh, chopped parsley
Tbsp pine kernals
Freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt
400 ml vegetable bouillon or stock
2 Tbsp olive oil

Sweet garlic broccoli

4 or 5 heads of purple sprouting broccoli
5 or 6 stalks of flat beans
1 clove garlic, mashed
100ml vegetable stock
Tbsp soy sauce
Tsp mirin or syrup
2 tsp Sesame oil


Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees Centrigrade. Pour a glass of wine. Switch on Radio 4. Switch off again if it's the Moral Maze. Otherwise, crack on. 

First of all get those leeks good and clean. A top tip here is to chop the straggly bits of the deep green tail off, then slice them down the middle, almost as far as the base, and then fan them under running water to get all the dirt out. Much easier. Then peel and slice the spuds.

This dish is all about layering, so get all the ingredients ready and prepared, and then use a little of the olive oil to line the bottom of a medium-sized baking dish.

Start with a sprinkling of the sliced leeks, then a layer of the thinly-sliced potatoes. On top of this sprinkle some of the parsley, garlic and, sparingly, the nutmeg and sea salt. Add a some of the pine kernals, and you're ready for the next layer. Again start with leeks, then add the other ingredients. Keep on and do 3 or 4 layers in a similar fashioning, seasoning in between, and if you can, finish with a potato layer.

Next, pour the bouillon or stock over the mixture, and leave it for a minute or so to soak through, then drizzle the remainder of the olive oil over the bake, before baking in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Now... for the broccoli. Simply mix the garlic, stock, soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil and leave to one side. Make sure the stock is good and hot as it takes the edge off the garlic. Steam the beans and broccoli lightly, and then toss in the sauce. If you have them, sprinkle with some sesame seeds so it looks pretty.

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