February 27, 2012

Leeks with white wine and provencal herbs

This is a simple recipe for leeks; elegant, seasonal, healthy, tasty, and dresses up any dish you serve it along. Use any kind of white wine. I had a 2006 South African vintage blend from Spier of Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, and Viognier from the Vinifrance Leuven wine shop. It imparted a fruity caramel-ey finish. The butter allows a beautiful caramelization to the leeks.

Wash the leeks well. Cut them into 4" segments, and then cut lengthwise. Peel away outer tougher layers. Rinse the leeks under water by fanning out the layers to remove dirt and grit. A large stainless steel stir-fry pan is ideal. Don't overcrowd the pan.

Leeks with white wine and provencal herbs
Recipe adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Yield: 4; 4 leek halves per person

2 tbsp butter
4 small-to-medium leeks or 2 large ones, prepped into 4" segments, that are halved lengthwise. 
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp herbs de provence
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine

In a wide skillet melt 2 tbsp butter over medium-low heat. When hot place the halved leeks cut-side down and allow them to brown, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and generous cracks of freshly ground black pepper. Add the bay leaf and the herbs de Provence. Turn the leeks onto their rounded bottoms and continue to allow them to brown another 4-7 minutes.  

Pour in 1/2 cup of white wine on the top. This should result in about 1 cm of white wine on the bottom. Season with a bit more salt and pepper and cover the pan until the leeks pierce easily with a fork. The white wine will reduce into a nice thick sauce coating the leeks and giving them a gourmet feel. Serve immediately. 

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