Elegant Braised Leeks with Feta, Almond, Raisin, Mint
Once again inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi and his vibrant vegetable cooking, here I serve a braised leek dish instead of a salad to begin a recent dinner party. Its rich warm hues and luscious sweet-and-sour notes make it a fabulous Autumn starter. Or serve it with couscous for a stellar vegetarian main course. “I find the creaminess of leeks and their sweet oniony flavor very satisfying,” penned Ottolenghi.
Elegant Braised Leeks Recipe
- 4 leeks, cut in half, then sliced lengthwise, washed well
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 c. dry vermouth
- 3 T. olive oil, plus more for sautéing
- 1/3 c. small dice red onion
- 1/3 c. golden raisins
- 1 T. cider vinegar
- 2 t. sugar
- toasted almonds, chopped
- feta cheese, crumbled
- chopped mint
Place leeks cut side down in a large shallow pan. Add bay, garlic, wine, olive oil, and water to submerge the leeks half-way. Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer 30 minutes until leeks are tender, turning once through the process.
Heat another pan over medium-high heat then sauté the braised leeks in olive oil until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, remove bay leaves and garlic from the original pan. Add vinegar and sugar. Raise heat to reduce to a slightly syrupy consistency. Add raisins and onion, stir, then remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange leeks on a platter. Top with the raisin mixture including the sauce. Garnish with almonds, feta, and mint.
To celebrate this recipe inspired by Plenty More, from London’s Ottolenghi, I serve elegant braised leeks on my English “God Save The Queen” china.
Slow Cook Vegetable
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4 thoughts on “Elegant Braised Leeks with Feta, Almond, Raisin, Mint”
A beautifully presented leek dish which I would certainly serve with couscous as a spring/summer main . . . love leeks and could eat them every day 🙂 ! Interesting that salads still seem to be served at the beginning of a meal in the US. This is unknown in Australia [unless it is an offering such as yours today!]. Salads always come alongside the main meal or are served after to ‘mop up the jus’, so-to-speak ‘French-style’. . .