How to Make Rice and Leek Savoury Cakes

LeeksCredit: Frances Spiegel 2014This recipe for rice and leek flat bread is made with Quark, a low-fat cheese. It's easy to make and very delicious. This unusual rice dish can be served as main course, accompanied by salad, or as a very satisfying side dish. It's also good served cold, and packs well, so it's brilliant for picnics.




Ingredients - Serves Four

  • 1 large leek

  • 1 large or 3 or 4 regular-sized spring onions

  • 600 ml/ 1 pint vegetable stock - I prefer Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon but any vegetable stock will do. This recipe also works well with chicken stock.

  • 225 g/8 oz short grain rice - pudding or Arborio is best Arborio RiceCredit: Frances Spiegel 2014

  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

  • 30 ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

  • 30 ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  • 150 g/6 oz Quark - low-fat cheese. If you can't get quark, mozzarella will do just as well.

  • Salt and black pepper

  • Parsley and lemon wedges to garnish

Leeks ready to useCredit: Frances Spiegel 2014









Instructions: Rice and Leek Savoury Cakes - Gluten Free and DeliciousCredit: Frances Spiegel 2014

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Line a large flat baking tray, or two smaller trays, with grease-proof paper and grease lightly. Alternatively, this recipe also works well in small muffin cases - just grease lightly.
  3. Clean any grit from the leeks and cut into small pieces.  Wash and cut the spring onions into small piece.  Place leeks and onions in a large saucepan with just enough stock to cover. Cook on a gentle heat until soft.
  4. Add the rice and the remaining stock. Bring to the boil and cover the pan. Leave to cook on a gentle heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Check often to make sure the rice doesn't dry out, and add more stock if required.
  5. Stir in the lemon rind, the fresh herbs and the cheese.
  6. Season to taste.
  7. Spoon into the muffin cases or spread over the bottom of the tin. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until turning golden. Muffins may need a few minutes longer to bake.
  8. Allow to cool. Cut the tray bake into squares, garnish with parsley and lemon slices.


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Some Leeky Facts

  • The very versatile leek is a member of the Allium family together with onions and garlic.

  • Leeks grow in the UK all the year round, but are at their best during autumn and winter - September to March.

  • They have a very strong distinct flavour. Once they're cooked, they have a slightly sweet, delicate and mildly oniony flavour.

  • If eating raw leeks, smaller, younger, leeks will be more tender and sweeter.

  • Be sure to choose the best quality vegetables. Look for a firm and unblemished lower white part. The leaves should be bright green and crisp.

  • It is important to wash the leeks well in running water because soil and grit can get trapped between the many layers of leaves. Cut of the base and the top end of the leaves. If the leek is getting on in age the outer layer may be tough. If it is, remove it.

  • Cook leeks by slicing thinly and steaming for about 8 minutes, or pan fry for about 8 minutes.

  • Keep leeks in the fridge for up to a week. Wrap them well or their strong aroma will taint other foods.

  • Leeks are also a good ingredient to use casseroles, tarts, pies and soups.

  • Cock-a-Leekie, from Scotland, and Vichyssoise, from France, are based on leeks.

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