For the cheese sauce


  • STEP 1

    Set a large, deep pan over a medium-low heat and warm the oil and butter. When foaming, add the leeks, garlic and thyme along with a generous pinch of salt.

  • STEP 2

    Cook for 25-30 mins with the lid on, stirring frequently, until the leeks are completely softened and beginning to caramelise around the edges. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, then stir in the flour. Cook for 1 min. Pour in the milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until you have a thick sauce, about 6-8 mins. When it comes to the boil, remove from the heat and stir in the nutmeg, mustard and both cheeses. Season, then stir in the leeks.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Lightly butter an ovenproof dish around 23cm wide. Mix the parmesan and breadcrumbs with a generous pinch of black pepper.

  • STEP 5

    Pour the leek mix into the dish. Will keep chilled for up to two days and frozen for up a month. Sprinkle with the parmesan crumbs and bake for 25-30 mins (5 mins longer if chilled, and an extra 10-15 mins from frozen), until golden.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, Christmas 2023


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