Sunday, 12 February 2012

New Leeks and Old Leeks: Two Recipes

Leeks with lemon and butter - half with a coating of cream cheese.
Recipe below

I’m running out of things to do with the leek. This is usually a problem confined to the carrot (a guaranteed muddy staple from Riverford), but this year the allium just keeps popping up, like an annoying but affectionate child, in my veg box.

So to use up the old leeks (almost two week old bendy things), the order of the day is a big vat of Nigel Slater’s leek and parmesan soup - once made, stored in the freezer and to be brought out on grey days like these. Sometimes I warm it up gently and drop in small cubes of double gloucester cheese that will melt in the residual heat so glorious yellowy-orange goo will grace each spoonful.

And yesterday, a new batch of leeks arrived - alert, erect and standing to attention. Little needs to be done with them - a quick fry will keep their sweetness and a slight crunch. A gorgeous lunch for one.

New leeks: with Butter and Lemon

So, after a cursory wash, and a rough chop of two leeks into thick rings, melt a slice of butter until foaming in a hot frying pan, and throw the leeks in. Coat the rings in butter, and leave to fry on high heat - only stirring occasionally - you want the leeks to catch and brown at the edges. When they’re just cooked (but still crunchy), squeeze lemon, season with salt and eat immediately. For a treat, spoon in cream cheese - it’s totally unnecessary but so delicious.


Old leeks: Nigel Slater’s velvety soup with Parmesan

Melt a slice of butter, and gently soften 3 leeks chopped into rings in a covered cast iron pan for 20 minutes. Add a peeled potato chopped into chunks, and cook for another five minutes. Add leftover Parmesan cheese rinds, and pour in 1.5 litres of veg stock. Season, then leave to bubble gently for under an hour, leave partially covered.

Take out the cheese rinds, (get as much Parmesan as you can from them), and blend until smooth. Add whatever grated cheese you would like in it, reheat and serve with crusty bread.

Adapted from Nigel Slater's the Kitchen Diaries

Previous leek risotto recipe here.

4 comments:

whatsforteatonightdear said...

Another simple treat with leaks, for supper or a side dish, sautee sliced leeks in butter, add a dash of cream and plenty of seasoning, bubble briefly, top with grated cheese [Lancashire is good] and grill until golden. Sweet and delicious...

Helena Lee said...

That sound like my kind of tea! Another top leek recipe. Cheese and leeks - match made in heaven...
xx

Katy Salter @ Pinch of Salt said...

They look absolultely delicious - such an underrated ingredient. There's a whole chapter of leek recipes in Nigel's Tender - the spring leeks with broad beans and bacon is a good one for warmer months.

Helena Lee said...

Ah good ol Nigel. I love the sound of spring leeks with bacon. Looking forward to March already! *rubs hands with glee - and to keep warm*

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