Ways with Bread: 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 chilli, 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, it’s slightly healthier (in that it 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

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, chilli 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.
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