Today we drive to Rafael’s nursery to buy 120 elfas [oleanders] for the hillside below the swimming pool. Lunch is decided when Rafael gives us four enormous leeks as a regalito. Punchy Leeks on Toast is one of our winter favourites which we picked up from the Cooking Outside the Box cookbook by the UK veggie box people Abel & Cole. We always use leeks for this but often vary the cheese depending on what’s in the fridge. Fresh thyme is an essential addition though. 1 tbsp olive oil
2 or 3 leeks, washed and finely shredded
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A packet of soft goats’ cheese or cream cheese such as Philadelphia or Mercadona’s own
A sprig of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stalk
4 slices of thick toast, sourdough or wholemeal, lightly toasted
Heat the oil in a saucepan or lidded frying pan and add the leeks, garlic and cayenne pepper. Put on the lid and leave to sweat on a low heat for 15 minutes, stir occasionally.
When the leeks are soft, add the mustard and cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted, season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, make the toast.
Pile the cheese mixture on top of the toast and put under the grill for a couple of minutes until the top is golden and bubbling.
5 to remember
el queso – the cheese
la receta – the recipe
compramos – we buy
el puerro – the leek
la tostada – the toast
‘Cooking Outside the Box’ by Keith Abel [UK: Collins]