Kemphaan Bake- Autumn on a Plate

Every Saturday, we head to the farm for fresh, local produce. What I love about this weekend ritual is that it's so much more than a little ecologically-friendly shopping. Before we even have a chance to start filling up our baskets, we've petted goats and cows, stopped by the pond to admire the fish, laughed at the monkeys (rescued from just about every horrible situation you can imagine) and visited the turtles and iguana.
This is a joy for Kirstie- and for us. She loves to see all the animals and we love to show her what food really is and where it comes from. One time, we were lucky enough to arrive just after the carrots were harvested. We encountered a HUGE pile of carrots and Kirstie was allowed to take one home. That evening she had it for dinner.
These days we' re not just getting our veggies from the farmers' market, but also from the greenhouse where we pick them ourselves. I strongly encourage all parents to see if something like this is available in their area. It will teach a child so much about nature and about food.
This dish is a tribute to my local farm. It's autumn on a plate- and it's made with beautiful, local food.

Kemphaan Bake
Serves 4

2 tsps butter
2 tsps mild olive oil
3 leeks, chopped
2 tsps dried thyme
3 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 small pumpkin (about 800g), peeled and sliced into small, not too thick chunks
40g butter
3 ½ tbsps flour
400 ml warm milk
freshly-grated nutmeg
3 tbsps grated Gouda cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Heat the oil and butter in a skillet. Add the leeks and the thyme and saute on a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the corn and continue to saute for another 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for a final 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Make the sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. As soon as the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes a paste. Slowly start adding the warm milk, whisking as you go. The sauce will start to thicken. Continue to whisk for at least five minutes. Season with the grated nutmeg and salt and pepper. Add the cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted.
Pour one third of the sauce into an oven casserole. Arrange half of the vegetable mix on top of the sauce. Cover with more of the sauce, top with the rest of the vegetables and finish with the sauce. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and allow to cook for another 5 minutes under a hot grill. Serve immediately.

Want to visit our local farm? Have a look here: Stadslandgoed de Kemphaan

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