30 in 30: Leek and blue cheese gratin

Learn how to make leek and blue cheese gratin in under 30 minutes, and for Dh30.

Fresh ingredients:

1 onion

2 large leeks

1 bunch thyme

Dry ingredients:

1 small loaf brown bread


30g strong blue cheese

450ml milk

Total: Dh30

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/ gas 6. Peel and roughly chop the onion, wash and thickly slice the leeks. Pick and chop the thyme leaves. Crumble or chop the cheese into pieces. Measure out 25g butter and 25g plain flour and blitz three slices of bread to crumbs.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and leeks, season and cook for 6-8 minutes, until tender. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and return the pan to the heat.

Add the butter to the pan and allow to melt over a low heat. Add the flour, a tablespoon at a time, to create a paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add a little milk, stirring to incorporate. Return the pan to the heat and pour in the remaining milk, stirring continuously. Season with salt and black pepper until the sauce thickens (five minutes or so).

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, leeks, onions and thyme. Tip the mixture into an ovenproof dish, scatter over the breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil and bake for 10 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

Note: The Dh30 recipe works of the premise that you already have the most basic of store cupboard or fridge staples - items such as oil for cooking and dressing, vinegar, butter, salt and pepper and in this case plain flour - at your disposal.

For all our 30-in-30 recipes please visit www.thenational.ae/30-in-30

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