Cheese and Leek Toasties

Leeks and Cheese on Kefir Toast3

Inspired by Heidi’s comment about grilled cheese sandwiches  on the cheese and pickle post, I rifled through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Vegetable book and found a lovely  simple recipe for cheese and leeks on toast which I have customized slightly to use up half a red pepper as well as my leeks. It is the sort of book that if you are an experienced cook and a vegetarian you probably know most of the methods and techniques in it already,  but I like it for its simple layout and clear straightforward recipes. I think, going by this article I just found, HFW is very fond of cheese on toast. Lots more of his ideas here of things to put on toast : – Posh cheese on toast recipes.

Leeks and Cheese on Kefir Toast2

As I was making vegetable soup anyway and sweating leeks, I borrowed a couple of spoonfuls of the leeks from the early stages of the soup to make this treat. I am going to make it again today as we have lots of leeks in our vegetable box this week.

Leeks and Cheese on Kefir Toast4

Pepper and Leek Cheese on Toast for Two

  • 1 medium leek
  • Half a red pepper (capiscum)
  • 50g of favourite cheese
  • 3 spoonfuls of half fat creme fraiche
  • salt and pepper
  • Thyme or favourite herbs
  • Two chunky slices of favourite bread – here I used my kefir date bread with sesame seed crust

Leeks and Cheese on Kefir Toast1

  1. Sweat the sliced leeks and pepper in a little butter or stock on a low heat
  2. Grate cheese and put to one side
  3. Once leeks and peppers are soft and glistening lower the heat
  4. Slice some bread and toast lightly and put the grill on
  5. Add the creme fraiche and mix in
  6. Add about three quarters of the grated cheese and stir well
  7. Season to taste, add thyme
  8. Pile onto warmed bread and divide the remaining cheese between the two slices
  9. Pop under hot grill and cook till bubbly and browning
  10. Eat!

31 thoughts on “Cheese and Leek Toasties

  1. Jeannette

    Lovely recipe for a quick lunch for two, ideal! Love the look of those loaves, Joanna.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Brian was left to slash and shove in oven and he got a new blade out and did his thing. He’s a very good baker, the only bit he doesn’t like doing is shaping the dough :)

  2. bec {daisy and the fox}

    Yum! In always up for a good lunch recipe – so naturally I’m keen to try yours!
    Thanks for the recipe :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Bec! I like the way it doesn’t really use that much cheese and still manages to be cheesy if that makes sense.

  3. frandough

    The toasties look delicious.I have tried cheese and red oinion, but cheese and leek will make a refreshing change! Will go well with the Kefir bread which is so versatile. Thank you.


    1. Joanna Post author

      We loved this and I thought it was nicer than just a slab of cheese melted over bread, less oily and full of flavour but one must do whatever makes everyone happy :)

  4. heidiannie

    You just gave me a recipe for lunch!!!
    I made Chick-a- leekie soup yesterday- so I may substitute red onion for the sandwich and have a cup of soup on the side. I love the flavor of leeks.
    Now I’m so looking forward to lunch!!!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I love the way we get each other making stuff and am struck by how the simplest “I can do that’ recipes are the ones that actually get me to make them.Hope you had a delcious lunch !!

  5. sallybr

    That first photo made me salivate. I am serious, very serious. That is some major food porn, and I wish I could have that slice for my lunch. Unfortunately, I might have to go for my sorry scrambled eggs….

    1. Joanna Post author

      Could you smell the sweet and tender smell of the leeks, mingling with the unctuous creamy loveliness of the creme fraiche, with the hint of summers past on a warm rose-tinted evening of the crushed thyme leaves, all suffused with the golden warmth of melting moist (I did it, got that word in…) cheese and a hint of roasted sesame …. ? hehehehe… maybe we should have a food porn writing meme one day a week….

  6. Ann

    Your food porn made me laugh!
    I love anything with cheese in or on it and those toasties are making me drool too.
    I’m a big HFW fan and have that veg book – find it very useful for giving me ideas.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have to rein in my inner foodporn writer sometimes… hehehe
      I have been to the RC Canteen here in Bristol and it is pretty good and the service is great.

  7. narf77

    Before I became a vegan I was the sole card carrying “ALL of the cheese” member in my family. I adore cheese beyond most other things and if I was given my druthers (whatever they are…note to self “look this word up pronto!”) I would be in cheese hog heaven at any given time. Couple that with my third favourite food bread and you have a marriage made in narf7 heaven. I am drooling looking at this post…most shamelessly drooling :) (by the way numero duo on my most favouritest EVER is potatoes)

    1. Joanna Post author

      thanks for the drooling :) :) I am thinking about kefir cheese again, might have to have another go at it one of these days. How is the vegan kefir doing these days. I wonder if I should bravely try to make Dan Lepard’s gluten free bread and somehow involve soya kefir in it but it is a bit off the track for me at the moment. I had a go at doing a sugar free kefir dough yesterday and the results were not very good, but I am enjoying the process of figuring out why, the odd neuron is firing xx Jo

      1. narf77

        The kefir needs sugar in order to ferment so I am not surprised it turned up its nose at your sugar free version…like kids…it can sniff out a “jip” a mile away! ;) Mine is going great guns. It separates into liquid and gunk on hot days and I just have to shake it up to even it out again but yesterday it must have been really happy because when I shook it, it decided to act like ginger beer when you shake it…I had to open the cap QUICK and stand back! ;) I can culture veggies with the finished kefir, hummus, various bean dishes etc. and it makes them easier to digest. I wonder if it would work in Dan’s gluten free bread? Now you have me thinking…I might have to do a few experiments with Kid Creole (my kefir) and Brunhilda when the weather cools down a bit. Too hot and humid here at the moment…sometimes I think I am living in Tropical Queensland without the coconuts! ;)

        1. Joanna Post author

          There is, she said pedantically, ‘sugar’ in flour of course, and this is what sourdough yeasts feed on, so the kefir did in fact grumpily eat the sugars it managed to liberate from the flour but it wasn’t as efficient at doing it as a regular sourdough culture and definitely prefers its easy diet of date syrup to produce those all important bubbles of co2. I will post some pics of the results of the tests when I have done a couple more bakes and tweaked a couple of things to see if I can get it to perform. “You Vill Do Vot I Vant” she said as the kefir quivered in its jar… ( no, really I am not so cruel) I am not sure about the culturing of veggies etc, do they taste of something apart from the cheesy, kefiry taste, ? If it comes out like kimchi it will be no good as Brian won’t go near it sadly. I am sure the kefir would work in Dan’s gluten free bread given half a chance, do you mean the corn flour/psyllium husk one ?

          1. narf77

            My kefir is hell bent on taking over my fridge (note to self “use it or suffer the explosive consequences!” and as it appears to be a bit bolshie in nature (aren’t we all? ;) ) it will culture just about anything. It loved being used in bread baking and I really couldn’t believe how well it made the bread rise all by itself. It was a complete revelation about the magic of kefir and made me look at it in a whole new light with reverant eyes

            I decided to start easy with the culturing and baked a few cakes after “souring” the flour overnight to break it down. They turned out well so I then tried making hummus with it as I had heard that cultured hummus/beans were delicious (and MUCH easier to digest) and the results were actually scrumptious. All I did was make regular hummus and instead of adding a bit of water to thin it like I usually do, I added finished kefir. I left it out overnight (thinking that I was going to probably die after eating it but 50 is good innings isn’t it?!) but after 24 hours (and a bit…a girls gotta sleep SOMETIME ;) ) it tasted magnificent. Very “cheesy” and perfectly complimentary to the hummus taste. I doubt that Brian would like cultured veggies but you just never know. A friend just made pickled onions without the sugar and vinegar and just using sea salt and “whey” and they turned out magnificently and her kids gobbled them up. Our big kids (Brian and Steve) are obviously going to be a MUCH harder sell although I will give Steve his due, he did try my hummus and said that it was nice! (Don’t faint)

            Yeah, I was talking about the GF bread as kefir seems to be quite resiliant in nature and if it can make hummus rise up in a jar, it can certainly give GF bread the old college try ;). I made kimchi and had it sitting on my kitchen bench. As a vegan I didn’t (obviously) use the dried shrimp and “other fish parts” that the Koreans (and my daughters) use to flavour their kimchi so I decided to replicate that “fishy” taste with seaweed. After a week it started to reek to high heavens and Steve insisted that it be moved to his shed! It tasted (to me) magnificent and I polished off the entire gallon of it all by myself but Steve refused to even sniff it ;)

            Can’t wait to see the results of your tests…I LOVE a good science experiment, especially when documented :)

            1. Joanna Post author

              Fran! Just found this lurking in moderation, no idea why. I am very tempted to try the hummus thing it sounds excellent. I have done a couple of kefir bread without sugar experiments and so far the best one used wholemeal flour for the initial feed, I got a ‘beery’ preferment, however the two I tried with white stoneground both ended up smelling of acetone (paint stripper) – never one of my favourite ferment whiffs. I made a disastrous loaf the other week when I used all milk for the liquid in the final bread and although it aerated the bread it just wasn’t right. I can email you pics if you want as I suspect it won’t be of that much interest to anyone else. I did once try the kefir on Doves GF flour mix and it produced a vile stenching thing that I couldn’t face building into a bread. So my rather random tests say, go with wholemeal flour to start with and then build the dough from there… xx Jo

              1. narf77

                Aye Aye Captain :) I love sharing the knowledge around so someone elses mistakes don’t end up in my oven ;) I have seen some recipes for GF sourdoughs around but don’t think I am going to go there and will stick with the kefir bread. Gotta say that if my non-dairy kefir goes over the top it can deliver a serious hooch smell. I tasted (always brave when it comes to food…at least initially ;) ) some dehydrated non-dairy kefir yesterday (dried crusty bits on the screwtop) and it tasted just like vegemite! Gotta say it might be an interesting things to do…concentrate it and then use it for making vegan cheeses…but that’s another adventure for the future! :) Cheers for the helpful advice. I reckon kefir likes whole foods as it reacts best when I make my own non-dairy milk and use dates. I don’t think it would have survived as long as it has out of regular milk if it wasn’t happy with its lot. Hugs from sunny Sidmouth for your Sunday :)

                1. Joanna Post author

                  I have attempted to email you pics, but the email may be too big and be clogging up your server as I type. Hugs back :)

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