|tender braised leeks with green olives and parsley|
I love leeks – pırasa in Turkish – and when I saw the picture of this dish in a BBC Good Food magazine, complete with sliced green olives and chopped parsley, I knew I wanted to make it. Of course used as I am to Turkish zeytinyağli dishes, I found the amount of olive oil specified in the recipe quite laughable so I increased it. This is actually the second time I make these leeks. The first time I did use white wine as we were having guests but today, just for the two of us, I thought I’m not going to open a bottle of wine just for this, so I just used water.The leeks still tasted great.
|leeks in the pazar or market|
Olives are never a problem for us as we always have a huge supply of both black and green, thanks to Mehmet and Hatice in Assos. The greens are particularly delicious and much tastier than the black ones and they both taste and look appetising. Here they are optional but I recommend using them along with the parsley. I also have a never-ending supply of thyme or kekik from the village but it’s dried, of course. So that’s what I use rather than rush out to buy a little plastic box from the supermarket at vast expense.
Ingredients for Tender Braised Leeks
1 tsp olive oil (I used 2 tbsp)
2 tsp coriander seeds/kişniş
3 fresh thyme sprigs OR use 2 good pinches dried kekik
2 bay leaves/ defne yapraği
125ml/4 fl oz white wine OR water
1 garlic clove with the skin on, *bashed (I used 3)
Pinch caster sugar
85g/3oz green olives, very roughly chopped (optional)
Large handful chopped flat-leaf parsley/maydonoz, to serve (optional
Trim the darkest green part off the leeks and strip away the first two layers. If they are English leeks, cut in half lengthways, but keep attached at the root. If they are Turkish leeks, cut as in the picture. Wash under cold running water and set aside.
Tip all the other ingredients, except the olives and parsley, into a wide shallow pan with 200ml water, some cracked pepper and a sprinkling of salt.
Slip the leeks into the pan, cover and place over a low heat. Gently simmer for 20 mins, turning them occasionally until very tender – a knife blade should slip in easily. Leave to cool until just warm, then stir through the parsley and olives, if you like.
|ready to serve: tender braised leeks|
Serve the leeks as they are with crusty bread or with roast chicken or fish.This makes a really nice side dish!
* bashed: this is how Jamie does it and it is very effective: simply take your garlic clove and hit it firmly with something hard like a rolling pin. The skin will shoot off all by itself, thus simplifying the task immeasurably!