Being a fibrous vegetable leeks are well suited to braising and are also prone to trap dirt so a thorough washing is recommended. Remove the outer green tops by making a shallow cut around where the leek becomes greener and you will find more white layers beneath which could otherwise be wasted.
Larger leeks can be added to meat braises or they can be cooked as they are here as the main star. The trimmings are precious and can be used as the base of soups, sauces and in stuffing.
Leftover cooked leeks are delicious in omelettes, tart fillings and sandwiches.
Braised leeks with salsa rustica and egg
- 1 baking tray wide and deep enough to accommodate the leeks in a single layer
- 1 mixing bowl or use a mortar and pestle
- 1 grater or use an egg sieve
- 6 each leeks large or 12 pencil leeks
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 4 each anchovy fillets
- 1 each red eshallot peeled
- 1 tbls fresh French tarragon leaves chopped
- 1 tbls Dijon mustard
- 30 mls white wine vinegar
- 125 mls extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbls baby capers Capers in brine should be rinsed. Salted capers should be blanched in boiling water 3 times
- 25 gms Italian parsley leaves chopped
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 3 each egg boiled and grated / sieved
Leeks – Braising Instructions
- Trim the leeks to remove their root end and to obtain the desired serving length.
- The excess greener tops can be saved for another use.
- Wash the leeks well to remove any dirt trapped in their layers.
- Lay the leeks in the pan and cover with cold water and salt.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Cover with baking paper and cook gently until just tender.
- Once the leeks are cooked remove from the hot water and refresh with cold water and allow to drain.
- Pond the garlic, anchovies, eschallots and tarragon together in a mortar and pestle. (If you do not have a mortar and pestle chop these ingredients very finely and using the back of your knife scrape down against the board to make a paste and then transfer to a mixing bowl.)
- Add the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice olive oil and capers and stir to emulsify.
- dd the chopped parsley and then the sieved egg.
- Serve the leeks on a flat plate dressed in the salsa rustic with crunchy fresh bread as an entrée or else it is also a wonderful side dish for fish, roast beef or chicken.
Image credit: Me