Olive Oil Braised Leeks

Olive Oil Braised Leeks I first made these after seeing the recipe in an issue of Fine Cooking magazine. They never made it to my dinner table, though, because after sampling them fresh out of the oven, I kept going back and continued “sampling” them until they were gone. They were so tender and full of flavor that I just couldn’t stay away. Try this easy and tasty way of preparing leeks and just see how long you can make them last. Go ahead, I dare you.

Olive Oil Braised Leeks

2 lbs leeks (about 5 medium), white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise and washed well (see my Quick Tip for prepping leeks)
12 small sprigs fresh thyme
¼ C extra-virgin olive oil
1 T dry white wine
1 T water
½ t Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375°F and place a rack in the middle position. Place the leeks, cut-side down, in a single layer in a baking dish large enough to fit them all snugly (an 8-inch square dish should work well). Nestle the thyme sprigs evenly among the leeks. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the olive oil, wine and water; drizzle this mixture over the leeks. Sprinkle evenly with salt. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Cook the leeks until they are completely tender and easy to pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook until the leeks are caramelized, about 15 minutes more. Remove the thyme sprigs and serve the leeks warm or at room temperature.

Variations: mix things up a bit by substituting any of the flavored extra virgin olive oils at The Olive Grove.

Original recipe here.

Step by Step Details

Start by trimming and thoroughly cleaning the leeks. See my Quick Tip for this process.

Place the leeks, cut-side down, in a single layer in a baking dish large enough to fit them all snugly (an 8-inch square dish should work well). I don’t have a square baking dish, so I made them fit in this 7 x 11 dish. You want them fairly tightly packed.

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Get some fresh sprigs of thyme, good quality extra virgin olive oil, and a dry white wine. I usually use a dry/neutral Pinot Grigio, but whatever you use, just make sure it isn’t too sweet or fruity or it will overpower the leeks.

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In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the olive oil, wine and water.

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Drizzle this mixture over the leeks, and nestle the thyme sprigs evenly among the leeks.

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Sprinkle the leeks evenly with salt, and then cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook until the leeks are completely tender and easy to pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes.

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Remove the foil and continue to cook until the leeks are caramelized, about 15-20 minutes more.

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Allow to cool a bit, and remove the thyme sprigs before serving. Serve the leeks warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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