Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Lemony Braised Leeks

Well, here is my simple question (and simple post) of the day.

Why is it that the lovely leek in all its slender glamour is almost always relegated to being an ingredient and never the star of the show? It's a truly wonderful vegetable that can really be something spectacular. (You get the feeling I like them, don't you? Turns out, I do.)

Being a mild flavored relative of the onion, it has everything we all really like about the onion, but without any of the the heat or the sting. That is why I sometimes take few moments to make a dish that is all about this awesome allium.

The subtle lemony flavor is vibrant and a perfect foil to any light meal and a great staple to have on hand for sandwiches, or on your luncheon buffet. It goes so well with cold meats you will not believe.

It is also just the most divine thing to make a day or so ahead of a dinner party, freeing you up for more important things, like mixing and mingling! Your guests may be skeptical, but with one bite, they will be won over for sure. Try it, and enjoy.

6 leeks, throughly cleaned
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 teaspoons high quality olive oil
Zest and juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 300F

Slice the white part and perhaps a little bit of the pale green part of the leeks lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips. Arrange in a heat proof dish. Add the chicken stock, oil, zest and juice, toss gently to coat and cover with foil. Cook, covered, until the leeks are quite soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly (or all the way). Serve with additional coarse salt and pepper, and maybe a touch more lemon zest.

If you are going to store them, take them out of the liquid.

Makes enough for six people as a side dish


A study described in a recent issue of the journal Obesity Research found that mice given fructose-sweetened water gained weight, even though they consumed fewer calories from solid foods than mice that drank only water. - Star News Online

As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. ~Buddy Hackett

The wind-whipped rains that battered the California wine country both flooded and muddied some of the nation's best-known vineyards. But vintners from the Napa and Sonoma valleys, where last year's grape revenues exceeded $600 million, believe the coveted wine crops escaped damage. - NY Times

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Leeks are often th star players in our household. It seems the French and the English have something in common - they both love leeks. Sometimes I make leeks vinaigrette to pander to Fred's whims but really prefer a more comforting rendition of this lovely vegetable. Last week I cooked some leeks til tender, then fried them up with some diced pancetta. Mixed some frozen fresh white breadcrumbs, grated gruyere and ground almonds and topped the leeks, popped under the gril, browned until bubbling and it was quite delicious.
Sam! That sounds delicious. Now why havent you ever posted that?
I wonder now too - but it was one of those quickie meals, I didnt even think too.
I have too much material. i can't cope.
Plus I was in a hurry and I cooked the leeks in the microwave initially, how could I admit that on my food blog, huh?

Oh this is great! I was just standing in the kitchen yesterday wondering what to do with three leftover lemons from Christmas. Now I can find use for one of them at least...
i love my leek with lamb slices stir fried with just bean sauce.

Delish looking Braised Leeks
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