Harvesting Leeks, from Tacuinum Sanitatis
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Oven-Braised Leeks with Cream



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Oven-Braised Leeks with Cream

Chez Panisse Vegetables
by Alice Waters, 1996, HarperCollins

"In France, leeks are called 'poor man's asparagus,' and are prized for
their succulence and sweet, delicate flavor. In the United States, leeks can
be almost as costly as asparagus [will someone please explain that to me!],
but they are available over a much longer season, generally from late
summer until the end of spring."

Cut off the roots and tough green tops of the leeks and remove their outer layer of skin. Slice the leeks almost in half with a vertical cut starting an inch or so above the root end, rotate the leek 90 degrees, and make a second cut. Rinse the and soak them in cold water, working free any dirt. Tie the leeks into a bundle and parboil them in well-salted boiling water until tender throughout. Remove the bundle, cut off the string, and drain and cool at
room temperature.
Arrange the leeks in a buttered baking dish. Cover with a mixture of one
part stock to three parts heavy cream. Dot with unsalted butter, and season with salt and black pepper. You can also add a branch of thyme or some
fresh chopped thyme leaves. Bake at 375 degrees F. for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the liquid has reduced enough so that it coats instead of covering the leeks. Serve warm.

Note:  A lighter way of cooking the leeks with cream is to braise them until
tender in a covered saucepan on top of the stove with butter and water. Then
add enough cream to barely cover the leeks, and simmer, uncovered, until the
cream has reduced and coats the leeks.

Featured Archive Recipe:
More from Chez Panisse!
Asparagus and Baby Leeks
Gratin of Leeks with Beaufort Cheese

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