Cheesy leek and rice bake

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

I love this dish, which I also make with cour­gettes. It started off as a pie en­cased in filo pas­try; but then one­day I didn’t have any filo pas­try in the freezer and I made it with­out, and it is just as good, although dif­fer­ent. I like to serve it sur­rounded, or cov­ered, with Po­modor­ini Ar­ros­titi (roasted cherry toma­toes).

Serves 4


400g leeks, trimmed and cut into 5mm rounds 85g ar­bo­rio rice

2 eggs, lightly beaten 100ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 4 tbsp freshly grated Parme­san

Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

3 tbsp dried bread­crumbs Cherry toma­toes


For this dish you need only the white part of the leeks and the in­side pale green leaves (keep the green fo­liage for a soup).

Put the leeks in a sink of cold wa­ter. Wash thor­oughly, re­mov­ing any earth, drain and put in a bowl. Add the rice. Add the beaten eggs to the bowl to­gether with half the oil, 3 tbsp of the Parme­san and salt and pep­per. Mix well – hands are the best tool for the job.

Leave the mix­ture to rest for about 1 hour: the rice and the leeks will ab­sorb some of the liq­uid and soften up.

Heat the oven to 160°C Fan/180°C. Grease an oven dish with some of the re­main­ing oil and spoon in the mix­ture. Mix to­gether the re­main­ing Parme­san and the bread­crumbs and sprin­kle over the top. Driz­zle with the re­main­ing oil and bake for 45–50 min­utes.

Taste by in­sert­ing the point of a knife into the mid­dle and dig out a few grains of rice. They should be ten­der. Re­move the dish from the oven and leave to rest for a few min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

For the roasted cherry toma­toes:

Heat the oven to 180°C fan (200°C).

Cut the toma­toes in half and put them in a large bowl. Pour in a good driz­zle of ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Mix well, but gen­tly so as not to break them.

Place on a bak­ing sheet and roast for 5 - 7 min­utes, un­til just slightly wrin­kled and bub­bling.

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