Leek Gratin with Lemon Béchamel and Beaufort Cheese

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Leek Gratin with Lemon Béchamel and Beaufort Cheese

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Ingredients

Steaming leeks:
6 leek whites 600 g of leeks
40 g semi-salted butter
25 cl Vegetable Stock
1 pinch Salt
Lemon béchamel:
½ untreated yellow lemon peel
30 cl Milk
20 g Butter
20 g Flour
1 pinch Salt
The finish:
50 g grated Beaufort cheese
½ untreated yellow lemon peel
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Steaming leeks:

  • Lemon béchamel:

  • The finish:

Directions

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Contrary to popular belief, leeks are not always a “strong” tasting vegetable. On the contrary, the taste can be delicate and refined. Here, I prepare it au gratin with a very light béchamel sauce which is acidic and really easy to make. You can also use it in other recipes.

How to Make the Steamed Leeks:

  1. Cut the leek whites in half lengthwise to make cleaning easier.
  2. Soak them in a large volume of cold water and shake to remove all the sand. Take them out of the water. Cut them finely.
  3. In a frying pan, cook over medium heat with the butter for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the salt and mix. Gradually pour in the vegetable stock with a ladle until the leeks are well cooked and tender.
  5. Remove from the heat. Set aside.

How to Make the Béchamel:

  1. Remove the half-peel of the lemon with a peeler, or a peeler knife, taking care not to scratch the white skin, which is bitter.
  2. Bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan, remove from the heat, and then add the lemon zest to infuse it for 5 minutes.
  3. Filter the perfumed milk through a strainer.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan (be careful that it does not start to color) and then add the flour passed through a dry sieve.
  5. Let it boil slowly for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, to cook the flour well. With a ladle, add the very hot milk, little by little, taking care to boil the sauce for a few seconds each time you pour in the milk (to avoid lumps). Add a little salt.
  6. Set aside, off the heat.

The Finish:

  1. Preheat the oven to the broil position.
  2. In a salad bowl, mix the leek with the béchamel sauce. Place this mixture in a gratin dish.
  3. Sprinkle with grated Beaufort cheese.
  4. Put in the oven and leave to gratinate for 3 or 4 minutes, more or less depending on the oven, watch carefully!
  5. Take the gratin out and finish the recipe by adding, at the last moment, the grated lemon half-zest.

Tip: don’t forget to boil the béchamel to cook the flour well. This way, the sauce will be creamier and, moreover, it will not have that unpleasant flour aftertaste.

Leek Gratin with Lemon Béchamel and Beaufort Cheese
Leek Gratin with Lemon Béchamel and Beaufort Cheese                                   Photo credit: Mickael Roulier

 

Anne Sophie

Anne-Sophie Pic is a famous French Chef known for gaining three Michelin stars for her restaurant, Maison Pic, in southeast France. She is the fourth female chef to win three Michelin stars, and was named the Best Female Chef by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2011.

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