This leek and potato bake is a gutsy side dish and makes a great potato option as part of a traditional ‘(no) meat and two veg’ style meal. A lot of my cooking on week nights is one-pot meals or dishes that are served with rice or pasta or noodles but on Sundays we often eat something that’s more akin to a roast dinner, i.e. something with side veg and potatoes and maybe gravy.
When I was a teenager and first cooking vegetarian food I had two recipe books, both from Marks and Spencer, “The Seasonal Vegetarian” by Sarah Bounds and “Vegetarian Feast” by Elaine Bastable. Although they date back to the mid-80s and a lot of the recipes aren’t as sophisticated as ones you find in more recent books, I still cook from both of them. This recipe comes from Vegetarian Feast.
On this occasion I was planning on serving it with Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Red Onion & Rosemary Sausage Plaits (I love these!) but I obviously wasn’t concentrating in the supermarket because when I got them out to cook they were the Cheese & Leek version. Not the obvious thing to serve with leeks on the side but it was still good 🙂 It reminded me of going to a local pub that used to serve a pie of the day. On one occasion when I had it, it was pea and potato pie and they served it with chips and peas! Well, I guess if you order pea and potato pie they’re safe in the knowledge that you like peas and potatoes.
Don’t get too hung up on the quantities in this recipe. The ratio of potatoes to leeks really doesn’t matter. I only had a couple of small leeks to use up this time and I think it would be a tasty way to cook potatoes even without the leeks.
- 2-3 leeks
- 500g waxy potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g butter
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Heat the oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5.
- Trim the leeks and slice into 2 cm lengths.
- Cut the potatoes into 1 cm slices.
- Put the oil and butter into a large, shallow roasting tin and put in the oven until the butter has melted.
- Add the leeks and potatoes and turn them to coat them in oil and butter.
- Coarsely crush the peppercorns and coriander seeds with a pestle and mortar and mix in the salt.
- Sprinkle over the leeks and potatoes.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil (carefully!) and turn the leeks and potatoes over.
- Return to the oven without the foil for a further 25 minutes.