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Ways with Bread: Leek Rarebit

Leek Rarebit

You’ve probably all heard of Welsh rabbit/rarebit, the delicious late-night snack and lunch dish so beloved of the British Isles. It’s a simple idea, really: take some toasted bread and top with a mixture of egg yolks and cheese (often with flavourings like chili, Worcestershire sauce or ale), and put the whole thing under the broiler until bubbly and delicious. Apply to mouth.

Well this, my friends, is Leek rarebit, its slightly healthier (in that in contains something green) cousin. I came across this idea in the recipe section of February’s Living etc magazine and immediately marked it down as a must-try. Anything that involves the triple whammy of bread, cheese and leeks just has to be delicious, right? Unfortunately I left that magazine in Canada, but luckily Jamie Oliver came to my rescue.

I made this for lunch yesterday, using the Milk & Honey bread I baked earlier this week. On first bite, the cheesy, leeky goodness damn near blew me away, and it’s probably a good thing. I’m going to need lots of ways to use up all the bread I’ll be baking this year, and this is definitely one to add to the roster.

Leek Rarebit

  • Leek Rarebit
  • adapted from Jamie Oliver‘s Leek Rarebit
  • serves 1
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
    1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and chopped (white and light green parts only)
    1/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, picked
    1/4 tsp. grainy mustard
    1 egg yolk
    2 Tbs. crème fraiche
    75g grated cheddar
    1/8 tsp. chili flakes
    1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    sea salt and black pepper
    2 thick slices bread of your choice
    butter (optional)
  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a small nonstick pan and gently sautée the leek and thyme leaves until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. When done, remove from heat, stir in the mustard and allow to cool slightly.

    2. While the leek cooks, mix together the egg yolk, crème fraiche, cheese, chili flakes and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Add the cooled leeks, stir well and season to taste.

    3. Preheat the broiler or grill to high. Toast your bread on both sides and spread with a bit of butter, if you like. Spread the leek/cheese mixture over the toast to the very edges, and place under the heat for 3-4 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown (use a baking sheet to catch drips). Serve immediately.


  1. Nicole says:

    That looks so good! I can’t imagine a more perfect snack.

  2. Dana says:

    I can’t even believe how good that looks. If I make that I will probably never make anything else – except perhaps the bread to put it on.

  3. Sara says:

    wow, that looks like a grown ups dream grilled cheese. I just made my own bread as well and it would taste amazing with this combo!

  4. Amy says:

    Hi Ele. Found your site through the Blogging Your Way class. I ADORE it. Can’t wait to see more and watch how your blog grows…

    Cheers from Brooklyn!

  5. MH says:

    Yum! This looks divine.

  6. Sharmila says:

    I found your blog (well, Kitchenism to be precise) through the Kitchn’s ’12 new to us blog list.’ (Congratulations for being featured on it!). I have to say you were my favourite find in the whole lot! I love this and its sister sites and I know I cannot rest till I’ve checked all three out thoroughly. This recipe…Welsh rarebit adapted from Jamie Oliver? My god, can you say fated? If I had any (not really) doubts I wouldn’t like other stuff I’d find here, that shooed them clean out.
    Cheers and great work!
    Big fan

  7. Ele says:

    Dana- Don’t do it, then! I wouldn’t want your cooking and blog to suffer ;)

    Sara- I think the homemade bread is what makes it,

    Amy- Hey, and welcome! I’m loving BYW, and all the blogs I’ve been discovering through it. Off to look at yours now :)

    Shamila- Hi! I was really happy that The Kitchn chose my blog to feature, and getting new readers is a huge bonus! :) I hope you have a great time looking around…

  8. When I first had rarebit, I read it as…rabbit. I was quite taken aback. But eversince then I’ve been in love with this fine marriage of cheese and bread. The addition of leek only escalates my love it! MMMMM…

  9. Radhika says:

    This looks spectacular! Even more reason to make your milk and honey bread! Thanks for a great recipe.

  10. fresh365 says:

    Oh wow, this looks so mouthwatering good! I love leeks and that borwned cheese… mmm…

  11. Beth says:

    I just had rarebit for the first time last month – amazing! This looks perfect to perhaps combine with fried egg on top for breakfast? Thanks for the deliciousness. YUM!

  12. [...] the ability to make fantastic toast. Granted, it might not pair so well with cheese, Marmite or Rarebit- but it sure was tasty with peanut butter and [...]

  13. [...] don’t have much to show for it. Several leeks (most already disappeared in a Sunday lunch of cheesy leek rarebit), some parsnips (I fancy these curried- whether roasted or in a soup, I haven’t decided) and [...]

  14. [...] chunky leeks are a bit strong-tasting for dishes like Leek Rarebit, but they’ll be perfect in a Leek and Potato Soup. I might whip (whiz?) one up, or else [...]