We often think of our wintery veggies as a wee bit boring compared to the brightly coloured zestiness of summer fruits and veg, but for me some winter wonders pack a real punch in flavour and usefulness – the lovely leek for example and my recipe for Leek Confit will prove the point.
Leeks are often forgotten and relegated to the soup pot and very little else, they can end up being looked on as a sort of filler veggie, but I love these guys for their sharp flavour when finely sliced (white bit only and nice and young) and served raw in salads and their heavenly sweetness and almost delicate flavour when cooked.
Maybe I am a bit biased towards leeks as one of the finest varieties of leeks in the UK is the Musselburgh leek and that’s the town I grew up in. I’ve already used them in a couple of recipes here on the blog, check out my Musselburgh Tarts (Mussel and leek tartlets) and Cock-a-leekie Soup recipes.
This leek confit recipe makes one large jar and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. I use it rather like pesto, spooning it on to spaghetti and swirling it in, serving on toast with melted cheese for a comforting calorific lunch of supper dish, and just dolloped on to a bowl of potato soup for a bit of added interest and texture.
All you need are 4 large leeks, 1 nice big sprig of fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried thyme if fresh isn’t available, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and a couple of tablespoons of water.
I like to make my leek confit by baking my leeks (along with all the other ingredients in the oven till they are all mushy and golden (don’t let them burn) and then just ladling into a sterilised jar, but you could do this in a pan on the stove top but you won’t get that lovely roasty flavour.
So there’s a nice simple wee recipe for you this week, seasonal, tasty and another little something to keep on hand in the fridge to make life easier in the kitchen dept.
- 4 large leeks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- large sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2-3 tbsp water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
- Clean the leeks well and slice the white part and paler green leaves into thin rings.
- Arrange on an oven tray and add the thyme, oil and water.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes till golden and soft.
- You might want to add a little extra water if they are drying out too much, check half way through cooking time.
- Ladle into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.