Most times I can tell by reading the ingredient list whether a dish will be something we will like, and I don't always need a picture. I find that most times, the picture they have is nothing like the finished dish on my dinner table. In some cases the picture turns me off and if not for taking the time to read the recipe, many really exceptional dishes would have made the grade.
Such was the case with this dish.
I really don't know anyone who does not like stuffing/dressing with a roast. This was unique because it used leeks, roasted garlic and Swiss cheese. Ingredients that go well together but don't remember ever seeing in a recipe before. Although not your typical stuffing (like in turkey) this is more of a dressing (baked and served in a casserole). It's a southern thing and I actually prefer my stuffing baked separate from the meat. This one had my name all over it.
You can make yours in a large casserole pan but because I halve my recipes, I will bake mine in ramekins that will sit in a bain marie. Right before sliding them into the oven I will spritz them with my Misto.
Usually made with day-old bread, I had uneaten popovers that I left in a bowl, covered with a napkin for two days. It turned out to be the perfect amount for 4 cups of dressing.
Raclette can be expensive and all you need is 1 cup (about 3") so buy yours where they can cut a 3" piece. If you can't find Swiss raclette cheese, a Gruyére will work well and the German Emmental, while more affordable, has a good strong taste and is also a good choice but, please do not use a Swiss with holes.
While waiting for the bread to soften, roast the garlic.
Instead of water to moisten the bread, I used the last of a can of low-sodium chicken broth and instead of thyme I used ground rosemary. I was pairing this with grilled lamb chops and thought the stronger herb would work with the lamb. (Note: This is a case for powder being better than whole herbs. Throw the hard leaves into an herb grinder until it becomes a powder. No more hard rosemary leaves in your dishes. I also do this with bay leaves.)
As a final garnish and to add crunch, a sprinkle of almonds.
To download all the recipes with their shopping lists, click here.
Roasted Garlic & Leek Bread Casserole
Makes: 6 servings, about 3/4 cup each
EatingWell: This stuffing-like vegetable-and-bread casserole is inspired by the vegetable tians of Provence. The soaked stale bread binds leeks, nutty raclette cheese, abundant roasted garlic and thyme. Serve with roast chicken and a green salad to make a swoon-worthy meal.
* 1 large head garlic
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 3 cups water plus 2 tablespoons, divided
* 8 slices stale bread, crusts removed
* 4 cups halved and thinly sliced leeks (about 2 large leeks), white and light green parts only
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt, divided
* 1 cup shredded raclette or Gruyére cheese
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Remove the outer skin from the garlic and place the head in a small baking dish. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Add 1/4 inch water to the dish. Roast, uncovered, until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel the cloves. Thinly slice and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Place bread in a shallow heatproof dish large enough to hold it in a single layer. Pour in enough water to nearly submerge it. Let stand until the bread is saturated, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the bread to a colander in batches and gently press out the liquid. The bread should be somewhat moist, but not dripping. Tear it into irregular pieces. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks, 2 tablespoons water and 1/4 teaspoon salt, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender but still bright green, 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Add the leeks to the b owl of bread along with the sliced garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, cheese, thyme, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; gently combine with your hands or a spoon. Spread the mixture into a shallow baking dish large enough to hold it in a 1-inch layer, such as a 9x13-inch pan. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil.
6. Bake until crisp and golden in spots, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Per serving: 279 calories; 15g fat (5g sat, 8g mono); 21mg cholesterol; 26g carbohydrate; 2g added sugars; 12g protein; 4g fiber; 353mg sodium; 241mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Calcium (28% dv), Vitamin A (24% dv), Vitamin C (16% dv).
My Diabetic Recommendations: Use whole grain bread or if you do not like whole grain, the best diabetic bread to eat is rye bread.