Tag Archives: leek

Recipe of the Week – 7th January 2018 – Broccoli and Leek Spelt Risotto

Since the New Year I have started to look at new ways of cooking familiar foods, particularly trying to find healthier alternatives. This is my twist on a recipe for ‘Speltoto’ by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, using a ‘Superfoods’ mix of Spelt, Red Quinoa and Freekah, but any grain would work well and provides a more textured and less stodgy alternative to Risotto. Don’t worry I’m sure I’ll get back to stodgy recipes once the Christmas guilt has subsided!

Serves 4


3 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced

1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

300g dried Spelt or grain mix (I used M&S Superfoods mix)

4 tbs olive oil

1200ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

1 tsp dried Herbes de Provence

50g vegetarian Parmesan, grated plus a few slivers to finish. (Can be easily substituted with a dairy-free hard cheese to make it vegan.)

Salt and pepper to season


1. Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion and garlic for about 7 minutes until soft. Stir in the herbs.

2. Add the Spelt, stir well to combine and cook for a further minute before adding the stock a little at a time.

3. Continue adding the stock a ladleful at a time until it is all absorbed (this should take approx. 20 minutes)

4. Meanwhile in a separate pan add the remaining oil and gently sauté the leeks and broccoli until soft.

5. Combine the contents of the two pans then stir in the grated cheese and season.

6. Serve immediately with toast, a further drizzle of oil and a few slivers of cheese.


Recipe of the Week – 5th June 2017 – Mini Veggie Quiches

There is something about making a good quiche that is really satisfying – I like the way that you can use any combination of fillings, plus they are generally as good cold as they are warm. Here is the recipe for two of my favourite ones that flew off the shelves in my cafe recently – Leek & Cheese and Butternut Squash & Red Pepper.

Makes 2 large or 6 small quiches



230g plain wholemeal flour

120g butter

120g margarine

1 tsp English mustard powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of salt

120g grated mature cheese

100ml water

For the filling

4 large free range eggs

150ml single cream

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

Salt and pepper

1 large leek, sliced and gently sautéed, plus 30g mature cheddar cheese, grated, or,

1 small butternut squash, finely diced, plus 1 red pepper, finely sliced


1. Mix all of the pastry ingredients in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then slowly add water to bind to a dough. knead until smooth, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Beat the eggs, cream, herbs and salt and pepper together.

3. When chilled, roll out the pastry and line a 2 x 9″ flan tins or 6 x 4″ tins.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put a baking tray in the oven to preheat.

5. Add the leeks, or quash and peppers to half-fill the tin and pour the egg and cream mixture over. Top with grated cheese.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown. Serve hot or cold.

Recipe of the Week – 10th March 2014 – Mushroom and Leek Risotto with Asparagus

I really enjoyed making this risotto at the cafe last week – there is definitely something therapeutic about having to stand and stir this for 25 minutes (if you’ve got the time, which I rarely have nowadays!). There are less traditional risotto recipes available which require less maintenance, but I have found that this is worth the little extra effort!

Serves 4


500g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
2 medium sized leeks, trimmed and sliced
Small bunch of asparagus spears, trimmed
2 tbs olive oil
1 knob butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300g risotto rice, such as arborio
500ml vegetable stock from bouillon
Small handful parsley leaves, chopped
50g vegetarian parmesan freshly grated
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat the oil and the butter in a deep frying pan over a medium flame the add the leek slices and garlic, and then fry for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook gently for 10 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.

2. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute, ensuring all the grains are coated, then add the stock a little at a time, stirring continually until all is absorbed. Cook gently for 20-25 minutes, stirring regularly.

3. Meanwhile, place the asparagus spears in a large steamer over a pan of boiling water and steam for 5 minutes, until tender.

4. When the risotto is cooked, take off the heat and stir in half the grated cheese and the parsley.

5. Serve immediately topped with the asparagus spears and the remaining Parmesan sprinkled on top.

Recipe of the Week – 12th August 2013 – Very Cheesy Vegetable Bake

I made this today when I was at a bit of a loss, inspiration-wise. I had a lot of courgettes and leeks left over, and Sue bought some cottage cheese (which I haven’t bought for years). This is the result, and whilst not the healthiest tea I’ve done (cheese sauce, cottage cheese layer and cheese on top!), it was certainly soon polished off by the ravenous little veggies who live here…

Serves 6


60g butter (20g for frying, 40g to make the roux)
2 medium leeks, thickly sliced
100g button or chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 large courgettes, thickly sliced at 45 degrees
2 sticks celery, halved lengthways then chopped
salt & pepper
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
75g cottage cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated
50ml milk
50g plain flour
50g fresh breadcrumbs


1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.
2. Melt the butter in saucepan, then add the courgettes, celery, mushrooms and leeks and stir-fry until soft.
3. Add the herbes de provence and seasoning and stir well.
4. Pour half the mixture in a large oven-proof dish and spread the cottage cheese over, before covering with the rest of the vegetable mixture.
5. Meanwhile, make a cheese sauce by melting 40g butter in a small saucepan before adding the flour. Stir to form a roux and cook off for 3 minutes. Add the milk and 50g grated cheese, season well and stir to form a creamy sauce.
6. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and top with the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese.
7. Place in the oven and bake for approx. 20 minutes until brown and bubbling.
8. Serve immediately with herby new potatoes.