All I can think about right now is spring. And sunny weather. It seems to have (finally!) hit Seattle and it is amazing. Earlier this week I got outside for my first bike ride of the year. It was exactly what I needed.
Of course, that beautiful bike ride was followed by some crushing news. I came home to find my cat sitting on my parsley. The parsley I so carefully grew from seeds. The parsley I’ve been tending to every day for the past month and a half. The parsley that was only one day away from being transplanted into the garden. The parsley that I had so many culinary plans for. Yep, that parsley.
Okay, I’ll admit. I cried a little.
This is my cuddly little monster, Bilbo. Don’t be fooled by his cuteness. He has a plan for world domination and your herbs are next.
There’s something about spring that just makes me want to eat green things. There’s been a lot of asparagus, broccoli, and greens around here lately. Lots of big salads. And lots of leeks. I usually saute my leeks in a little oil and add them to other vegetable dishes with some salt and pepper, but when I stumbled upon this recipe in Vegetarian Times I knew I had to have it right away. And it was worth it.
The key to cooking this is to cook the leeks long enough so that they are tender, but not so long that they are mushy. If you’re worried about fat or calories, you could leave out the second tablespoon of olive oil to drizzle over the top, but I would encourage you to splurge. That extra bit of oil adds a great flavor to the finished dish. Ah, spring.
From Vegetarian Times, April/May 2011
4 medium leeks
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 teaspoons agave or brown rice syrup
1 cup water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Salt and pepper
Cut green tops from leeks and trim ends without removing bottoms (to hold it together). Halve each leek and rinse each layer thoroughly to remove any dirt.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks cut-side down and cook 3 minutes, or until browned. Turn leeks and brown 3 minutes more.
Add broth, agave or brown rice syrup, and water. Add salt and pepper if desired. Partially cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 – 25 minutes, or until leeks are tender.
Whisk together vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in bowl. Transfer leeks and cooking liquid to casserole disk. Drizzle with vinegar mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: There will be broth left over after cooking. Plan ahead and save it for another recipe!