While the leek fritters are the family favourite for the Seder, we prefer to make this lighter version year round. Some recipes for leek gratins call for matzo meal and some are made with either ground meat or mashed potatoes. I usually add ground beef to the leek fritters and mashed potatoes and cheese to the leek gratin. Since the mashed potatoes replace the matzo meal, it’s a good alternative for those who can’t tolerate gluten.
The leek gratin is similar to the spinach one but the flavour of the leeks really stands out. It can be made ahead of time, refrigerated or frozen to be baked at a later time. I like to double or triple the recipe, prepare a few gratins and freeze them. It freezes well and makes a great vegetarian dish with a side salad but I have to admit, I love this piping hot out of the oven or cold from the fridge.
- 3-4 medium leeks
- 2 medium baked potatoes, peeled and mashed
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Grated mozzarella cheese to sprinkle on top
- Oil to grease the baking dish
Preheat the oven to 375F, grease a baking dish and set aside. Cut the leeks into ½ inch slices; wash in lots of cold water, repeat if necessary until the leeks are clean. Transfer to a pot and add about half a cup of water, cover with a lid and cook over medium high heat, until the leeks are soft.
Transfer the cooked leeks to a colander and let them cool, once they are cool enough to handle, squeeze as much water as possible from the leeks.
In a large bowl, combine the leeks, mashed potatoes, eggs and cheeses, season with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the leek mixture to the greased baking dish and top with the grated cheese. Bake until the cheese is golden brown, serve hot, warm or at room temperature.