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Leek and French Lentil Gratin With Feta

Leek and French Lentil Gratin With Feta 4.000

Justin Tsucalas for the Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for the Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Jan 19, 2021

This simple gratin gets its protein from the lentils and its richness from the tangy creme fraiche and feta cheese. Make your own lentils, use leftovers or buy cooked lentils in vacuum-sealed bags or cans. You can make this dish in a 6-cup gratin or an 9-inch square baking pan. If you want more crunchy bits, however, make it in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Serve it with a green salad.

Active time: 15 min ; Total time: 40 min

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked French lentils (see NOTE)
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) crème fraîche (may substitute a generous 1 cup of full- or low-fat sour cream)
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) panko
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

In a 6-cup gratin or baking dish, combine the butter and garlic and place in the oven to melt. (If you haven’t already, wash and slice the leeks while the butter melts.) Add the leeks to the butter mixture, sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss to combine. Return the dish to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until wilted and softened.

In a medium bowl, combine the lentils and creme fraiche. Spread the lentil mixture evenly over the leeks. Sprinkle the feta over the lentils, followed by the panko, and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just golden on top.

Serve hot.

NOTE: To make 2 1/2 cups of cooked French lentils, in a medium saucepan over high heat, combine 2 cups of water or chicken broth, 1 cup (6 1/2 ounces) of rinsed, dried lentils and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Correction: An earlier version of this recipe listed 2 teaspoons of salt in the ingredidents. It only calls for 1 teaspoon of salt. This version has been corrected.

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Recipe Source

Recipe adapted from “Vegetarian Dinner’s in the Oven” by Rukmini Iyer (Chronicle Books, 2019).

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 322

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 15g 23%

Saturated Fat: 8g 40%

Cholesterol: 41mg 14%

Sodium: 710mg 30%

Total Carbohydrates: 36g 12%

Dietary Fiber: 8g 32%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 13g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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