Leek recipes: try a little tenderness

Date:05-05-2014 07:58:04 read:0

Leek recipes: try a little tenderness

They can be woody and occasionally pungent but, when treated with due care, leeks will reveal their soft, sweet side

Smoky: char siu pork and leek Photo: Andrew Crowley

Leeks can be forgiving, yielding and sweet – but only if you’ve given them the love they deserve.

They’re easy to prepare; just strip off the outer layer and trim off the dark green (you can use these bits for stock or the base of a soup), then split them through the middle and wash them really well.

As leeks grow bigger they become stronger in taste and woodier in texture, so pick little ones to avoid being hit with a pongy, oniony bang if you don’t cook them properly.

Leeks are pretty versatile, but they work especially well with pork. These delicious glazed leeks with sticky, sweet char-siu-style pork are always a winner.

This buttery sausage pasta sauce is another hit. Years ago I spent time in New York and one of my haunts was Mario Batali’s fantastic Roman restaurant Lupa, in the East Village. It’s still there, and no doubt still serving a delicious pasta a little like this one.

Poached leeks and gribiche is a classic recipe. I’ve always loved sauce gribiche but never been certain of the “proper” way to make it. This version is made like a mayonnaise but with cooked eggs and the herbs stirred through. Sometimes I make it more like a salsa verde with pieces of egg in it. I prefer this method for eating with poached leeks. You can also grill leeks on a barbecue for this recipe; they have a tendency to burn, but it’s easy to peel off the black layers to reveal the soft, silky green within.


Classic poached leeks with sauce gribiche recipe

Campanelle with leeks and sausages recipe

Char siu pork shoulder with glazed leeks recipe

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