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A quick easy frozen fish fillet needed something else. It is still cold and windy outside, so the side dish needed to be warming and tasty. What’s in the fridge? Some leeks, some spinach……..hmmmmm…….a bit of a google and I have some inspiration:

Leek, Spinach and Pea Gratin


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Heat oven to 200 degrees celsius

leek, white part only, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced thinly
dijon mustard mixed with horseradish paste -50/50
baby spinach
frozen peas
herb or chicken stock
fresh breadcrumbs
grated parmesan

Adjust amount of ingredients depending on number of people you are cooking for. There were only 2 of us, so I used one leek, about ¼ of a 300g packet of spinach, and a handful of peas. About 1 tablespoon each of flour, dijon and horseradish paste/sauce. Plus around 1-½ cups of breadcrumbs and about ¼ cup of parmesan.
If your spinach is not pre-washed then quickly wash and shake dry. Heat a few tablespoons of water in a pan and add spinach. Cook until wilted and take off heat. Place in a colander/sieve so the water drains. Meanwhile add about 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and add the leek. Cook for about 6 or 7 minutes. Add flour and stock with the dijon/horseradish mix. Keep mixing until this has thickened. Add the drained spinach and frozen peas and mix well. Add salt/pepper to taste. Put this mixture into a baking dish. Mix parmesan into the breadcrumbs. My breadcrumbs came from some bread I had make the night before, and as it was a herb bread it didn’t need any seasoning. But you could add some fresh or dried herbs to your crumbs if you wish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the vegetable mixture. Add a few little dabs of butter here and there – this will help the breadcrumbs brown. Cook in a 200 degree Celsius oven for around 20 minutes. Towards end of cooking if breadcrumbs haven’t browned, then pop under the grill for a short time.

As a first step you can put some butter into a pan and cook the breadcrumbs until they are toasted.
You could use milk or cream instead of the stock for a richer sauce.
Use whatever mix of vegetables that rock you.

It went really well with the fish – my only regret is that we didn’t have scrumptious fresh fish – but in the middle of winter with a week of bad weather – it’s not that easy to find fresh in our little town.

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