With its nutty base, creamy filling and golden topping, this versatile dish tastes every bit as good as it looks.
Vegetarian. Hands-on time: 15 mins. Total time: 45 mins.
Contributed by (March 2003).
Photo © Veg World
Croustade always receives a good reception among my family - not least because it lends itself to constant variation. This recipe uses leeks, but I've also had excellent results with zucchini (courgettes), mushrooms, sweet corn, broad beans and asparagus. Just use whatever you have available - and don't be afraid to experiment.
Served with potatoes and a green salad, this recipe will make four generous portions.
- 1½ cups (3.5 oz, 100 g) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1½ cups (3.5 oz, 100 g) ground almonds
- ¼ cup (1 oz, 25 g) of finely chopped nuts and/or sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seeds (use whatever you have to hand - the exact quantities are not critical)
- ½ cup (4 oz, 110 g) margarine
- 2 large leeks
- 1 tbsp. of butter
- 2 tbsp. oil (for the white sauce)
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1¼ cups (10 fl oz, 300 ml) milk
- 1½ cups (3 oz, 75 g) grated cheddar cheese
Oven: Pre-heat to 350F (180C)
Mix together the bread crumbs, ground almonds, nuts or seeds and margarine. Rub these together, then spread the mixture over the base of an oiled 6 x 9 in (15 x 22 cm) baking tin. Bake for about ten minutes, until the top starts to brown.
Meanwhile, clean and slice the leeks, and cook them in the butter until tender. Spread the leeks over the baked base.
Next make a white sauce. Heat the oil in a pan, stir in the flour, then gradually add in the milk. Keep stirring as the sauce thickens.
Pour the sauce over the leeks. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, and return the dish to the oven for about half an hour, or until the top is golden brown.
Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.