Leeks, a winter crop in the Bay Area, are showing up in farmers' markets now. As part of the onion family, leeks are known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer benefits. Even better, they are delicious and easy to cook.
Here's an impressive dish made from fresh leeks that you can make in less than an hour.
You will need:
- 10-12 small leeks, or 3-4 large leeks.
- 1 1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the root ends off the leeks and line them up. Cut off the darker green ends so that the leeks are all about 6 or 7 inches long, Then cut each leek in half lengthwise, exposing the layers.
Wash the leeks carefully, ruffling the layers a bit. Leeks tend to have sand or dirt in among the layers, so look carefully as you're washing.
If you're using large leeks, cut the halves in half again lengthwise. Lay the leeks out no more than two layers deep in a pan that can go on top of the stove as well as in the oven. A large frying pan will work fine, as long as it has an oven-proof handle.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Pour the broth over the leeks. Dot the top with the butter, cut in pieces. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Bring the broth to a boil and then turn down the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Cover the pan very loosely with aluminum foil and put it into the hot oven. After 20 - 25 minutes, the liquid should be mostly gone and the leeks will be tender. Serve them with some of the syrupy liquid spooned over.