Leek and Celeriac Cobbler

As a main dish, accompanied by a tomato salad, this cobbler pie is a delicious alternative to meat, fish or poultry, even for non-vegetarians.


For the Topping

  • 600 ml (1 pint) milk
  • ¼ whole nutmeg, grated
  • 125 g (4 oz) semolina
  • 90 g (3½ oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter, plus extra
  • 1 large egg (size 1), lightly beaten
  • grated Parmesan
  • 3–4 pinches cayenne pepper
  • Salt

For the Filling

  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 315 g (12 oz) celeriac, peeled and diced
  • 750 g (1½ lb) leeks, well washed and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) slices
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


Lightly grease a 23 × 30cm (9 × 12in) Swiss roll tin. Make the gnocchi topping at least 2 hours in advance. Pour the milk into a saucepan with the nutmeg and season with the cayenne pepper and salt. Stir in the semolina. Bring the milk to the boil, then simmer for 3–4 minutes, stirring until thick. Remove from the heat and add the Cheddar cheese, butter and egg. Return to a low heat and stir for 1 minute more. Spread the semolina mixture evenly all over the bottom of the tin. Leave to get completely cold, then chill for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the celeriac and stir for 2-3 minutes, just to brown slightly. Add the leeks and caraway seeds, then cook gently, stirring often, until the leeks are soft. Season with sea salt and plenty of black pepper. Turn into a heated, shallow flameproof dish.

Preheat the grill to high. Cut the gnocchi mixture into 5 × 2.5cm (2 × 1 in) fingers or into circles.

Arrange in an overlapping pattern all over the leek and celeriac mixture, then dot with butter, sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese and put under the grill until golden brown.