For the past few months we have been taking part in a produce box program run by the Eden Community Centre in Mississauga. It is an awesome program where you can place an order for a box full of fresh produce as a really reasonable price and then pick up from their centre on Fridays. Taking part has meant we have a fridge stocked full of fruits and veggies to help make sure that we are eating our 5-10 servings a day. Now in these boxes you don’t get to choose what you get, which I try to look at as a challenge, not a draw back. Recently we received leeks in our produce box… I have never, ever cooked with leeks before so what was I going to make?!? I have had leek and potato soup before, but Hubs was not in a soup kind of mood. So instead looked around for leek recipes and I adapted a dairy goodness recipe to create Cauliflower Leek and Bacon Casserole!
I really enjoyed the Cauliflower Leek and Bacon Casserole and it was a great way to introduce the boys to leeks for the first time. You can also adapt this recipe to what ever cheese you have at home. I think I am going to try it with cheddar cheese next time. Here is what you need to make this tasty dish:
- 1 head of Cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
- 8 slices Bacon
- 3 Leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped into half-moons
- ½ Onion, dice into bite sized pieces
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp All-purpose flour
- 2 cups Milk
- ½ cup Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ cup Breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp Butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch (2 L) baking dish.
- Cook cauliflower for 5 min in a large bot of boiling water. Drain and set aside in bowl.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat until crispy. Set aside on paper towels to take off excess fat and break into bite size pieces when done.
- Discard all but 2 tsp of bacon fat fat. Add leeks and onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 min or until very soft and just starting to turn golden. Transfer to bowl with cauliflower and add bacon.
- Wipe the skillet clean. Melt butter in a skillet set over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour; cook, whisking, for 1 min.
- Gradually whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk for 3 to 5 min or until smooth and thickened. Add in Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheese stir until melted.
- Pour the mixture over cauliflower and leeks, mix until coated. Pour into greased dish.
- For the Topping: In a bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, cheese and melted butter. Sprinkle over cauliflower mixture in the dish. Bake for about 30 min or until golden on top.
Bacon just makes everything better, and it is a perfect fit in this creamy casserole recipe. And don’t worry if you don’t finish it in one sitting, as it reheats well and is just as tasty the next day. Now I am looking forward to my next vegetable “challenge” in my produce box, I wonder what we will get next week.
What is your favourite way to eat leeks?