One of the things I’ve noticed since starting to blog is how often I’m driven to find new recipes by the sheer volume of any one ingredient piling up in the fridge. Lately, that catalyst ingredient has been leeks.
I’ve already blogged about one of my favorite dishes involving leeks, but that one involves a whole lot of other ingredients, too. This particular glut required something more focused, so as ever I hit the books.
I started out with a very simple Mark Bittman recipe for braised leeks. I went that route last weekend, and decided half way through cooking that I don’t really like leeks enough to eat them quite so plainly alone as that. I decided to incorporate the cooked leeks into a salad, but that involved slicing them post cooking, and it was basically a great big mess. Promising, but not quite there. I tried again this evening, and think I hit the nail on the head – a warm salad with a leek and carrot vinaigrette.
I took 5 good sized leeks, chopped off tops leaving the white and pale green part, sliced twice lengthwise and chopped them up. After cleaning them, I put them in a hot pan over medium high heat with 1/4 cup olive oil. Stirring only once or twice I let them cook for about five minutes.
While the leeks did their thing, I took 4 medium sized carrots, peeled them and sliced them on the diagonal, maybe 1/2 an inch thick.
With five minutes gone, I added the carrots to the pan along with a 1/2 cup of water. Put a lid on, turn the heat to low and let it cook for 10 minutes. Took the lid off and let it cook another 10 minutes or so uncovered, letting all the water boil off.
I then made a very basic vinaigrette with olive oil, white wine vinegar and dijon mustard, a bit light on the oil. When the liquid was gone from the leeks and carrots, I turned off the heat and let it cool down for a few minutes. I then added some corn salad (aka lamb’s lettuce – my new favorite thing) to the pan, stirred it all around and let it wilt for a minute or two, and dressed the whole thing with the vinaigrette.
Et voila – a tasty and simple way to get rid of too many leeks! It was even rather attractive, but you’ll have to take my word for it because the camera battery needs charging.