Before August arrives I wanted to talk ‘Christmas in July’. Christmas in July has become a pretty big thing here in Australia. Perhaps it’s down to the climate. Because our ‘real’ Christmas happens as the country bakes through hot Summer temperatures – hardly ideal for red wine by the fire or a hearty roast with all the trimmings. By contrast in July cold weather covers the most populated areas of Australia, giving Aussies the chance to experience those joy-filled Christmas traditions associated with Winter.
This year my Christmas in July feast was meat free – thanks to inspiration from Jamie Oliver. On Jamie’s website I came across an impressive leek and cheese packed vegetarian bake, aptly named ‘Cheesy leeks à la Oliver’. After just a mouthful I was sold on it being a strong contender for this year’s real Christmas Day.
‘Cheesy leeks à la Oliver’ – Feast Wisely style
Although I largely followed Jamie’s recipe I did make a few tweaks. I used two cheeses rather than three (cheddar and Parmesan, but no brie), added a glass of white wine when cooking the leeks and replaced the cream with lighter natural yoghurt. For full details check out Jamie’s Cheesy leeks à la Oliver.
And if you’re keen to try this leek and cheese packed bake here’s a couple of other tips:
- Jamie outlines two options for cooking the leeks – go with his advice and cook the leeks for longer in the pan, followed by the shorter cooking time in the oven. It makes all the difference.
- Rather than one large bake consider making individual single-serve portions, like the ones in my photos.
- Although the white part of leeks is more tender (because it’s grown underground) this doesn’t mean you can’t make good use of the darker green part. All it needs is a slightly longer cooking time.
I’m sharing this post as part of Fiesta Friday #182. Your lovely cohosts this week are Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons and Jenny @ Jenny Is Baking. If you’re keen to join the party then link your post to FiestaFriday.net and the co-hosts’ blogs (full guidelines here).
And here’s a couple of other hearty recipes: