Wow, we are a couple of blog slackers. I don’t know what Sara’s excuse is, but I’ve been in a major cooking rut for quite some time. Cooking for 2 kids and no other adults just got depressing. But…good news! My other half got a new job and is home for dinner at least 4 nights a week now, which has breathed new life into my menu planning.
This week I tried a new recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. Scratch that. This is THE favorite cookbook in my house. Every single recipe is easy to prepare and full of flavor. There is seriously not one thing we’ve tried that we weren’t happy with. The recipe I made this week was Rice and Leek Gratin. It takes a little advance planning because you need to have 2-3 cups of cooked rice on hand, but is also a great way to use leftover rice. I did made a few modifications to the recipe and would make a few more if I made it again, which I’m sure I will because everyone loved it. One note, you could easily add any other veggies to this. I felt like the leeks alone would be a bit blah so I threw in some mushrooms, and I could picture many other additions–carrots, broccoli, etc–depending on what’s in your garden or market.
1 cup rice uncooked
2 1/2 cups stock or water (I used veg stock)
2-3 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced.
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded gruyere or other swiss cheese (I used jarlsberg because I’m cheap!)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 1 tsp olive oil
Cook the rice. I like to toast mine in a teeny bit of butter before adding the stock.
Saute the leeks in a bit of olive oil until tender. Add any other veggies you’re using. Stir in the thyme and let mixture cool down to room temp.
Mix the veggies in with the rice. Stir in the milk, egg, and some salt and pepper. Stir in the shredded cheese. Press rice mixture into a 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Bake at 375 for about 30 mintutes, until the breadcrumbs are toasted.