An underestimated vegetable often lost amongst more colourful winter produce, leeks are misunderstood and often mistaken for onions. Combined with potatoes, you can create a hearty and classic Potato and Leek soup, or with chicken for the most decadent of Chicken and Leek pies.
Roasting however, brings leeks into their own. Mild, smoky, sweet and caramelised flavours blend perfectly with the soft almost butter like texture, making this a successful dish to serve on its own or as a side dish. The lemon vinaigrette simply adds another layer of flavour to the dish.
Ingredients 1 large leek
1 large lemon
(6-8 tablespoons juice) 1 teaspoon of rock salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of ground black pepper
Trim the dark leaves of the leek including the roots.
Trim a large leek, so it's free of the roots and the dark green leaves.
Soak the leek in cold water for approximately 10 minutes or until it's free of any dirt.
Pat dry, then cut the leek lengthwise in half, being sure not to separate the two halves (you are opening the leek to look like a fan). Then cut across the middle to fit into a baking dish.
In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, salt, sugar, pepper and oil, then stir to combine until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
Lemon Vinaigrette - lemon juice, salt, sugar, black pepper and olive oil.
Drizzle the lemon vinaigrette over the leeks, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to penetrate and marinate the leeks.
(Sheer forgetfulness on my part, the leeks actually sat in the marinade overnight, therefore the longer you can allow the marinade to work its magic, the better!)
Marinade the Leeks in the Lemon Vinaigrette, the longer the more flavoursome.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Remove the leeks from the refrigerator and place into the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
At 15-minutes, check the leeks. They should be tender and lightly charred. Turn the leeks over and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.
Leeks should be tender and lightly charred.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate.
Notes The subtle flavours will pair with almost any dish but blends perfectly with fish or seafood. I served this as a side dish to salt and pepper seasoned, pan-seared salmon with Fennel Puree. Simplicity at itís finest.
Salmon served with Roasted Leeks with Lemon Vinaigrette. Simply delicious.