Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes total
Keywords: side vegetarian gluten-free soy-free sugar-free leeks blue cheese
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 8 ounces / 225 g leek, white and light green portion, clean weight (set aside the darker green portion to make broth or stock)
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Leaves of a handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2-2 ounces / 42-56 g cheese, half Point Reyes Bay Blue OR other sweet blue cheese AND half mild cheddar (or other cheese of choice that melts well like fontina or gouda)
Cut the leek (or leeks) in half lengthwise and slice into 1/8 inch / 3 mm half-moons. Rinse well in a colander, then place in a bowl and fill it with cold water. With your hands, swirl the leeks to clean them well, then scoop them out of the water with a sieve or slotted spoon and drain them in a colander.
Warm up the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add the leeks. Stir to coat, then add the thyme leaves and stir again. Turn down the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Sprinkle the paprika on the leeks and stir. Cover the pan and cook until quite tender (8-10 minutes or more, as needed, depending on how fresh the leeks are), stirring often. Make sure the pan is never dry. Sprinkle the sea salt and stir.
Crumble the blue cheese, add it to the leeks and stir well. Grate the mild cheddar cheese.
Heat the oven to 375 F / 190 C.
Divide the leeks into two 4-ounce oval ramekins for baking crème brulee with scalloped edge or similar small baking dishes.
Divide the grated cheese into 2 equal parts and distribute it on the leeks.
Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-13 minutes, until hot throughout. Turn on the broiler and broil on low setting for 2 minutes, or for 1 minute if the broiler has only one setting (without burning).
Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and serve the gratin immediately.