Leek and Ham Gratin; photo colors

Leeks are very popular here and very reasonably priced.

If I was ambitious, and wanted to tend my potager in the winter, I would grow my own.

Non to both.

We do like them, however, and they are hard to pass up in spring when there are piles of them everywhere.

I used them a lot in cooking, but, sometimes, we just like leeks.

I included the ingredients and instructions for a half cup of béchamel but I actually used the leftover half cup from the Asparagus Gratin that I had made the night before.

Save the stock for another use – or freeze it for winter soups.

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Leek and Ham Gratin

This simple Leek and Ham Gratin, finished with an easy bechemal and cheese topping, can be a first course, side dish or, add a cup of soup / fresh bread for a light lunch.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: First Course
  • Cuisine: French


  • 3 medium leeks, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, thoroughly washed
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) water
  • 2 slices (2oz, 60gr) Prosciutto or other dry-cured ham, cut into strips
  • 1oz (30gr) shredded cheese, Gruyère
  • 2 tbs whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • Béchamel – 1/2 cup
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) milk


  • Heat chicken stock and water in large skillet to a simmer.
  • Lay leeks in a row, cut side down, in the simmering broth. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter.
  • Add flour and cook, stirring with a whisk or fork.
  • Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until you have a thick sauce.
  • Stir in mustard.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in whole grain mustard, paprika and parsley.
  • Spoon 2/3’s of the béchamel into a baking dish just large enough to hold the leeks in a single layer.
  • Remove leeks with a tongs, draining and trying to keep them together.
  • Lay them in the baking dish.
  • Top with the ham, keeping in mind that the serving is 3 leek halves.
  • Drizzle the remaining béchamel over the top, sprinkle with cheese and bake, 400F (200C) for 12 – 15 minutes, until heated through and cheese is bubbly.
  • Remove, divide onto 2 plates and serve.


You can make a larger portion of béchamel and refrigerate what you don’t use. It will keep for 2 – 3 days in the fridge and makes a nice cheese sauce for veggies.
You could substitute other ham or smoked turkey

Keywords: leeks, ham

Leek and Ham Gratin

I’ve had my new phone for a month now, and am slowly learning my way with its camera.

We had, yet another, gorgeous sunset the other evening, and I took this photo with my phone:

I thought it looked a little too pink.

I took another photo with my Nikon:

That looked more like the actual sunset – maybe a little too orange, but pretty accurate for a sunset.

I took the photos of the Hunt Dinner with the phone and the colors of the food, plates, etc. looked spot on… and they were all taken indoors by someone who may (or may not) have had more wine than usual.

Next I took my Nikon and my phone to the woods to photo this wild flower:

With the Nikon the flower is purple and in real life the flower is exactly this shade of purple.

With my phone camera the flower is, again, rather pink:

I took both photos within seconds of each other.

I was becoming concerned that my phone was going to photo nature ‘red’.

The next morning, when I was out with the dogs, the rising sun was hitting these flowers full force.

They were bright pink. Fuchsia!

I walked over to look at them and as soon as my shadow fell over them they were purple.

I now have the information…. But I haven’t a clue what to do with it.

More experiments are clearly needed.

6 thoughts on “Leek and Ham Gratin; photo colors”

  1. The wild flowers are Pyramidal Orchids Anacamptis pyramidalis (Fr. Orchis pyramidal). They are at their peak just now. A protected species (although no longer rare, and expanding their range). They are bright pink, btw.

  2. I love leeks. They’re never cheap here. I can only buy ‘organic’ leeks and everything organic is ridiculously expensive. I don’t buy leeks often because of that. The real kicker is, the grocery I shop at carries a variety of fresh mushrooms and they were all very reasonably priced. That is, until someone realized all mushrooms grown here are organic since they’re a fungus and chemicals would kill them. So they changed the packaging to add the word ‘organic’ and raised the price by $1.50 a package. *sigh*

    I find that your Nikon always seems to take pictures that are more yellow. I notice it a lot in the food pictures. You should be able to play with the color settings on your phone to add or remove tones. I have a D3400 Nikon and I have no clue if you can do that with the camera. :/

    • Marketing is everything !
      I do set the gray tone (with the gray ‘card) on it but I think the lighting casts a yellow tone. I try to offset it with a blue filter…. And it looks right on my computer. Sadly, I don’t have options of looking at it on other computers lol

  3. We found this flower in our garden too – very pretty. Even prettier were the ‘bumble bee orchids’ . I have now marked a whole section of the garden as a no-mow zone in the Spring!

    • That is always the challenge – to find the flowers before they get mowed down. These are in our little woods which, for obvious reasons, doesn’t get mowed,

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