One morning I received a frantic call from a client. She was in the supermarket looking for leeks and realized she didn’t have a clue what they looked like. ‘Look for giant scallions’ I... said. Disaster averted. It’s a shame this tender, mild tasting cousin of the pungent onion isn’t better known in the U.S. Leeks are rich in minerals and in vitamins A, K and C, and their sweet and earthy taste makes them a wonderful addition to soups and stews. They’e also delicious eaten on their own. Try this simple Braised Leeks recipe and get acquainted with the wonderful leek.
Cut each of the leeks lengthwise in half. Soak in cold water for 15 minutes to remove dirt.
Heat the oil or butter to a wide skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add the leeks, cut side up and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until browned. Flip and brown the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
Add the broth and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the leeks are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Uncover and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with lemon zest, Parmesan, and black pepper.
Most recipes using leeks, including this one, call for just the white and pale green parts to be used, but don’t throw away the tough dark green tops. Give them a good wash, and they will add great flavor to your stocks and broths. I even add them to a bouquet garni.