Roasted Garlic & Leek Bread Casserole
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.Advertisement
Remove the outer skin from the garlic and place the head in a small baking dish. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Add 1/4 inch water to the dish. Roast, uncovered, until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel the cloves. Thinly slice and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Place bread in a shallow heatproof dish large enough to hold it in a single layer. Pour in enough water to nearly submerge it. Let stand until the bread is saturated, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the bread to a colander in batches and gently press out the liquid. The bread should be somewhat moist, but not dripping. Tear it into irregular pieces. Transfer to a large bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks, 2 tablespoons water and 1/4 teaspoon salt, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender but still bright green, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the leeks to the bowl of bread along with the sliced garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, cheese, thyme, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; gently combine with your hands or a spoon. Spread the mixture into a shallow baking dish large enough to hold it in a 1-inch layer, such as a 9-by-13-inch pan. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil.
Bake until crisp and golden in spots, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
To stale bread naturally, store at room temperature in a paper (not plastic) bag for 2 to 5 days. If you don't want to wait, bake sliced or cubed bread on a large baking sheet at 250°F until crisped and dry, 15 to 20 minutes. One 1-pound loaf (12 to 14 slices) yields 8 to 10 cups 1-inch pieces.
To clean leeks, trim off green tops and white roots and split lengthwise. Place in plenty of water and swish around to release any sand or soil. Drain. Repeat until no grit remains.
1 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 high fat meat, 1 1/2 fat