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Great Granny's leek and tomato gratin

My grandmother called this Creamy Leek Croustade and I have a copy of it at home, written in her wobbly old fashioned handwriting.  It is simple, very cheap indeed, but nutritious and absolutely delicious. And whenever I eat it I feel I am back in her bungalow, being advised to "spend a third, save a third and give a third away to charity". I have never quite worked out how this might actually be financially viable in reality.  
  • 3 or 4 leeks, chopped and washed to make sure there is no soil left in between the layers
  • several large tomatoes, washed and chopped - if you have loads of time and are inclined, you could skin them 
  • large knob of butter or marg 
  • a large spoonful of flour 
  • enough milk and/ or cream to make a white sauce around the leeks and tomatoes.  Milk will do fine, but if you have cream in the fridge it will make the meal excellent. For heavens sake don't go out and buy cream if money/ time is tight
  • salt and pepper to season 
  • fresh breadcrumbs - or I use old breadcrumbs I have made up from the end pieces of loaves of bread or other bits of bread that are too stale to eat.  I bake them slowly in the oven at a very low temperature until there is no moisture left.  Then blitz in the food processor and store in an air tight container - lasts for months 
  • another large knob of butter or marg 
  • a good helping of cheddar cheese, grated 
  • mixed chopped nuts if desired 
  • mixed herbs
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy pan and add the leeks.   Gently sauté till they soften. 
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes or so, stirring to make sure they don't burn. When the tomatoes and leeks are soft and you can squash the tomatoes down a bit, add the flour and stir in well.  
  3. Pour in the milk and/ or cream slowly, a bit at a time, stirring all the time, until you have a white sauce around the leeks and tomatoes.  
  4. Add a little salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes and then transfer to an oven proof dish.  
  5. In a separate bowl mix together chopped nuts, breadcrumbs, grated cheese and the butter cut into small pieces.  
  6. Sprinkle over the leek and tomato mixture and bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes until the top is brown and sizzling.