Hip-hip hooray, it’s St David’s Day!
In honour of St David’s Day this coming Sunday, the 1st March, we’re paying homage to the humble leek!
As well as the red lion and the daffodil, the leek is one of the Welsh national emblems. Whilst at first the root vegetable may seem to be a somewhat odd choice of emblem, there are many interesting legends and theories as to why the leek was chosen to represent Wales…
- Legend says that King Cadwaladr of Gweynedd once ordered soldiers to wear leeks on their helmets to help differentiate between their friends and foes on the battlefield.
- The Welsh druids, who worshipped flora, viewed the leek as extremely powerful. Believing it to; cure common colds, alleviate pain during childbirth, ward against wounds in battle, protect against lightning strikes and keep evil spirits at bay.
- It was also believed that the leek would help a maiden gain insight into who her future husband would be. To achieve this, she would simply have to sleep with a leek under her pillow on St David’s Day and her future husband would appear in her dreams.
If reading all about leeks has got you hungry, or if you’re just looking to join in on the St David’s Day festivities, why not try your hand at this fabulous recipe for the ultimate St David’s Day dinner?
Potato, Leek & Bacon Gratin with Crispy Leek Topping:
- 1.2 Kg waxy potatoes
- 25g butter
- 1 clove of garlic (peeled)
- 250g mature cheddar cheese (grated)
- 175g smoked streaky bacon cut into pieces
- 2 leeks (washed trimmed and finely sliced)
- 600ml double cream
- Salt and pepper
- 50g mature cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 leek (washed trimmed and sliced finely)
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 15g butter
- Salt and pepper
- Pre heat the oven to 150 C
- Take a shallow baking dish approx. 25x30cm. Rub all over with garlic, then grease with a bit of the butter.
- Peel the potatoes and thinly slice (approx. 3mm thick) wash in cold water, drain and pat dry, season generously with salt and pepper.
- Fry the bacon in a heavy based pan until they are crisp and golden (drain away any fat)
- Layer one third of the potatoes into the dish and sprinkle over half of the bacon, leeks and cheese, then add another layer of potatoes, the remaining bacon, leeks and cheese, and finish off with a layer of potatoes.
- Pour over the cream until the potatoes are covered and dot with dabs of butter.
- Bake for approximately 1 ½ hours until the potatoes are tender.
- Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the leeks until tender
- Combine with the cheese and breadcrumbs, season and mix well
- When the potatoes are tender (after approx. 1.1/2 hours) remove the baking dish from the oven.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the potatoes.
- Return to the oven for approx. 15 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the potatoes are bubbling
If you’d like a glimpse of your future husband on Sunday, as always, Creamline has got you covered- https://bit.ly/2T0zARu!
Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus (Happy St David’s Day!)