I know what you're thinking...'Just what the world needs another gratin recipe'! I would normally agree whole-heartedly, but... when you use this preparation method with leeks they become surprisingly sweet when cooked with luxurious cream and nutty, slightly salty Pecorino Romano for contrast. I've tried preparing leeks in many ways but have never gotten particularly excited about the results. They never seemed "leeky" enough to me. Now I am sure that this is my all-time favorite way to make and serve them. My only tip for this recipe would be to leave the root end on the leeks just to keep them together and make handling them easier. Serve this alongside a standing rib roast for a special dinner or next to a grilled steak for a casual week night meal. Either way you will be thrilled and look at leeks and gratins in a whole new way.
Recipe: Sweet-Creamy Leek Gratin W/ Pecorino Romano
From Everday Food; October 2009
8 medium leeks, white and light green parts only
1-3/4 cups heavy cream
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/3 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, or more to your liking
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve leeks lengthwise (keeping root end attached) and rinse well, shaking off excess water.
In a large skillet, combine cream and leeks; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce to a medium simmer, cover and cook 5 minutes. Transfer leeks and sauce to a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 35 minutes. Let gratin rest 10 minutes before serving.