Thursday, 4 March 2010
In France, baby leeks are considered the poor man’s asparagus. Sweet, oniony and tender they can be braised in a pan in a little water then, while they are hot, dressed on a plate with a good vinaigrette and crumbled with sheep or goat’s cheese and cracked pepper.
Alternatively, soak 4 small leeks in cold water for 15 minutes, melt 2 tbsp butter on a heavy skillet then add the wet leeks – cook for 5 minutes then add a quarter cup of chicken broth and 1 tsp lemon zest. Braise leeks, covered, for 5 minutes, or until very tender, and season with salt and pepper.
The chef Jean-Christophe Novelli uses baby leeks in a quiche with poached salmon and blue cheese. They also work well in a frittata with sorrel, or mixed in with a soft-textured polenta topped with Parmesan cheese.
A Johnson Family Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009, South Africa (£7.98; Asda) is a crisp and zesty white that knows its onions.