Braised leeks are one of my favorite side dishes to make to go with a rich, creamy dinner. They are pretty simple to prepare but have a delicate, clean flavor that is perfect when you are looking for a side dish that will complement a subtle main dish, not overpower it. I think I first had this dish, or something similar, when I was an exchange student in France in high school (and a vegetarian at that time too), and it was one of the few things they made that I could eat. I started making them myself a few years ago and loved rediscovering the delicious flavor.
I have mentioned this recipe a number of times, from when I made butternut squash lasagne to when I made handmade ravioli for valentines day, but I have never shared the recipe. I figured it was time to amend that situation and finally took pictures when I made them tonight!d I also made pasta with a mushroom cream sauce but it didn't turn out as well as I remember it from the last time I made it, so I am going to try that recipe again before it makes an appearance here.
Braised Leeks with Vinagrette
Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- several sprigs of fresh parsley
- several sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2-3 dried bay leaves
- 2 carrots, cut into pieces lengthwise
- 1 or 2 celery stalks, cut into pieces lengthwise
- 2-3 quarts of water
- salt to taste
- 4-6 large leeks, white parts only, cut down the middle lengthwise and cleaned well
- vinagrette of your choice - I use a red wine vinagrette made with the Country French Vinagrette Herb mix from Penzey's