A recipe to remind you how great leeks can taste. Serve with the salad recipe below.
Wash 2 lbs of potatoes. Slice very thinly (the longer the slices, the less time it takes).
Cut the tops off 2 large or 3 medium leeks. Clean carefully, then slice lengthwise in 2 inch julienne.
Saute the leeks in 2 T. olive oil or butter over low heat. Season with 1/2 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 t. dried), salt and pepper. Cook until soft.
Remove the leeks. Add 1 C. heavy cream to the pan along with 1 minced clove of garlic and 1 bay leaf. Simmer for five minutes.
Butter a 2 quart gratin dish. (If you are using a 14″ cast iron skillet to cook the leeks, you can use that instead, removing the cream first.)
Using half the leeks, make a layer on the bottom of the pan. Then layer the potato slices on top, sprinkling them with salt and pepper as you go. Scatter the remainder of the leeks on top.
Pour the heavy cream over the gratin, removing the bay leaf. Top the gratin with 3/4 C. Gruyere cheese and cover with foil.
Bake gratin at 350 for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake another 15-20, until the top is nicely browned and bubbling.