What could be simpler? And yet, this is an undying classic, and probably one of my favourite ways to enjoy leeks. When food is this simple it demands first rate ingredients: Get your hands on some proper fresh bread from the baker and don’t go for the vile grated cheese from a packet, get a proper block of cheese and do the grating yourself.
You can go basic on your seasoning and stick with salt and pepper, which is perfectly adequate and absolutely delicious. Sometimes I like to spruce it up with a little thyme, though, as I find it enhances the flavour of the leek. You could also experiment with flavours like nutmeg and mustard.
Do you like to keep your toastie traditional? Or do you experiment with different spices?
Serves 2 as a snack or 1 as a meal:
2 slices of sourdough bread
20 g butter
1 large leek
a teaspoon of dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
30 g cheddar cheese
1. Slice the leek and rinse thoroughly in a sieve. Grate the cheese.
2. In a pan, melt the butter and sweat the leeks gently over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
3. Meanwhile, toast the bread (or not – if your bread is really fresh, you might want to leave it as is, and savour the soft fresh crumb)
4. Turn on the grill. Top the toasted bread with tender leeks and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Grill until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
5. Add an extra grind of pepper and serve.