Hmm, seem to have had a Leith’s Vegetarian Bible themed week last week. Here’s another. This was really nice but I really should have served it with some new potatoes. Ah well, there’s leftovers in the freezer so next time I will serve it with the potatoes from the garden which are very small and freshly harvested so near enough new in my eyes.
Ingredients (serves 4)
6 tablespoons olive oil
450g/1lb leeks, trimmed and sliced
2 table spoons plain flour
150ml/1/4 pint dry white wine
290ml/1/2 pint vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
85g/3oz Emmenthal cheese, grated
3 tablespoons double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large sheets of filo pastry
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
- Trim the ends off the asparagus and using a potato peeler, pare off the tough outer skin at the base of the stalks. Bring a large shallow pan of water to the boil. Cook the asparagus for about 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Remove the asparagus from the cooking water, drain carefully and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan, add the leeks and sweat gently for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds, then add the wine and bring to the boil. Add the stock and bring back to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is thick. Remove from the heat and add the thyme, lemon juice, cheese, cream, salt and pepper.
- Cut the asparagus into 5cm/2in lengths.
- Pour half the sauce into a shallow ovenproof dish. Cover with the asparagus and pour the remaining sauce on top.
- Brush each sheet of filo pastry with the remaining oil and place on top of the vegetables in layers. Trim off the excess pastry round the edges; brush the top with oil and score with a lattice pattern. Scatter with the sesame seeds (I used pinenuts instead).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, lowing the oven temperature if the pastry shows signs of browning too much.