Roasted leeks: who knew they could be so awesome? In doing some advance research on allium recipes for the March Can Jam, I came across this recipe in The Glass Pantry for leeks, slow-roasted in olive oil. Simplicity itself: leeks, oil, salt, pepper. The roasting and the fat combine to extend the (already pretty impressive) storage time of the leeks, and the flavor? Outrageous.
This is an easy way to work local foods into your diet even if finding time to cook is a challenge. You can roast the leeks on a weekend afternoon, or while doing laundry or straightening the house, or late in the evening while you are reading or watching TV. They need little attention, except a stir every 15 minutes or so, and once done can be popped straight into the fridge. Once they are in there you’ll find a myriad of uses: tossed with pasta, spread into a sandwich, added to soup or pizza. My batch lasted less than 24 hours: next time I’ll double the recipe!
Leeks are a winter-hardy crop and are available at most farmer’s market even in the dark days of February. Tender young leeks will start appearing as March and April bring more and more spring greens to our markets. I used local butter in place of olive oil in this recipe although either will work well. This recipe is the very definition of “local fast food;” prepared in advance and enjoyed at leisure, this roasted leek confit will have you stocking up on leeks at the market this Spring.
To use leek confit in recipes, check out Options below and Roasted Leek Confit Pizza.
Adapted from Confit of Roasted Leeks in The Glass Pantry by Georgeanne Brennan
Roasted Leek Confit
- 2 lbs leeks (1 and 1/4 lb trimmed), sliced in half lengthwise, washed well, and sliced to 1/4-inch
- 6 tbsp butter, melted (or about 1/3 cup olive oil)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Arrange sliced leeks in a 9″ x 13″ shallow baking pan. Drizzle melted butter over leeks, add salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat.
- Roast leeks, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and melted, about 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours. Add more butter (or oil) if leeks begin to dry out and brown. Essentially, they are done as soon as they taste good to you; I roast mine for a long time and let them get slightly brown, but you can stop at 45 minutes or so when they are still golden and very soft.
- Transfer to a clean pint jar to store. Serve warm or room temperature.
Yields about 1 and 1/2 cups.
- Toss with warm whole wheat pasta and a grating of parmesan or other hard cheese for a quick lunch.
- Spread on top of whole wheat pizza crust with a little olive oil, basil, mozzarella and parmesan for a fantastic pizza.
- Add to a warm turkey sandwich, or make a wrap with hummus and fresh parsley.
- Dollop onto potato leek soup or stir into creme fraiche or yogurt for an onion-style dip.
Refrigerated in a clean glass jar for up to 2 weeks.
Late Fall through Spring.