Potato Leek Gratin
If you've hung around here for awhile you probably know that I'm a big potato eater, having grown up in the great state of Maine. I like 'em cooked every which way and eat them way more than I probably should. But screw balance, because potatoes are the star of this dish and they are so, soooo worth it here. We started by slicing up our potatoes really thin, adding leeks cooked in garlic and rosemary, and covering the whole thing in a super cheezy sauce and homemade parmesan. It gets nice and bubbly when it cooks up and packs a ton of flavor. Its an easy dish to whip up and would make a great main or side dish at any meal. I used to love when my Mom would make gratin with dinner, so I'm happy I finally recreated the dish - but with a lot more flavor and a LOT less fat and salt than normal. It's cheezy, oozy-gooey, full of rich, savory flavor and something you're gonna wanna shovel into your mouth as soon as you pull it out of the oven - even Grandma will be impressed. Let's eat!
Looking for more with potatoes? Try our super popular Potato Leek Soup, Celeriac Mashed Potatoes, or Classic Backyard Potato Salad!
2 lbs. gold potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 large leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 - 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup homemade parmesan cheeze, to garnish the top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Thinly slice potatoes and layer them into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
Heat the coconut oil in a large cast iron pan over medium heat. When melted, sauté the leeks, garlic, and fresh rosemary over medium heat. Season with the salt and pepper and cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. [Take care NOT to burn the garlic + leeks- they don't taste good.] Remove the pan from heat, toss the rosemary stems, and pour the garlic leek mixture over the sliced potatoes in the casserole dish.
In the same pan you used to cook the leeks and garlic, whisk together the almond + coconut milks, nutritional yeast, corn starch, fresh chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens - about 5 minutes. Pour this mixture over the leek and potatoes in the casserole dish and use a spoon to gently smooth it over the top, letting it fill the crevices between the veggies.
Sprinkle parmesan cheeze over the top and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the mixture is golden and bubbling. Serve + enjoy!
Leftovers save well in an airtight container in the fridge up to a week.
Potato Leek Soup
I have been insanely busy this week. I picked up a waitressing job for the summer at a very busy seafood-selling, on-the-ocean location. I'm not complaining- I like both ocean views and big tippers very much, but I have been missing spending time in the kitchen. And on weeks like this, when I don't have a lot of time (or a lot of money until payday), we always make Potato Leek Soup. It is a recipe so cheap and easy to make it should be on any college kids repertoire. Its my favorite recipe when I'm short on time and money.
It is so simple. You're gonna love it.
This recipe is loosely based on Julia Child's original recipe for Cream of Leek and Potato soup. I've been reading her biography, Dearie, and have become a little obsessed. I can even do a pretty good warbly-voiced impersonation.
The woman was a master and she was right to pair these two delicious vegetables together. When blended they make a giant bowl of creamy, mashed potato-like soup with just enough salt to bring out the flavor of the potatoes.
I love making this soup in large batches for family events or just to keep in the fridge and reheat as leftovers.
As Julia would say, only 5 ingredients to make this soup 'positively delectable!'
2 tablespoons vegan butter or oil
4 cups potatoes, roughly chopped
4 cups leeks, sliced and chopped
6 cups water
2 teaspoons sea salt
First wash your veggies well. Cut the dark green ends and the roots off of the leeks. [Compost 'em or save the bottoms to re-plant and grow your own leeks!]
Slice the leeks lengthwise, then roughly chop them to break them up a little.
Cut the potatoes into about 1/2 inch chunks. Set aside.
In a medium sized soup pot, melt the butter until it is warm and has coated the bottom of the pan. Add chopped leeks and cook about 6-10 minutes, until softened and slightly glassy. Add the chopped potatoes, cooking for about 10 more minutes on medium heat until the leeks are softened and the potatoes just slightly softened. [Don't overcook the leeks- if they turn brown they are burnt and taste a little funky in the soup.]
Add the 6 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt and let cook on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the soup starts smelling delicious.
Using an immersion blender or a plain old blender like we do, blend the soup in batches until it is creamy and uniform in texture. You can leave some un-blended if you'd like some chunks in your soup.
Serve with crusty bread and top with a little fresh parsley, if desired.
*If you don't have enough leeks, you can sub up to half of the leeks for onions. It will mildly change the flavor but is still quite good!
*You can sub in vegetable broth for the water in this recipe but it give the soup a slightly darker tint. If you do use vegetable broth, omit the additional salt.
*I prefer using unpeeled potatoes because it preserves the nutrients and frankly, I'm too lazy to peel the potatoes. If you want a shimmery white soup, go ahead and peel 'em.
*This soup is wildly versatile; try adding in other veggies if you like (I like adding carrots and celery) or other spices. A bit of smoked paprika really takes this soup to the next level.