Leeks are cooler than onions. They perform the same jobs (use them anywhere you would a regular cooking onion) but they’re sweeter, with a more delicate flavor. Plus, they’re pretty!
Slow-Roasted Shallots in Skins
- 1 lb Whole large Shallots unpeeled
Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse shallots and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until skins are deep golden brown and blistered and flesh is very tender throughout, easily yielding when pierced with a knife, 50–60 minutes.
Let sit until cool enough to handle. Split open to eat, or slip shallots out of skins to use in vinaigrettes, sauces, or condiments.
Photograph by Christina Holmes
Poireaux Vinaigrette (Marinated Leeks with Herbs)
- 8 medium leeks trimmed of tough green parts
- Kosher salt to taste
- 5 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground white pepper to taste
- 7 tbsp. peanut oil
- 8 sprigs parsley
- 1 hard-boiled egg chopped
Starting about 1" above root end, slice leeks lengthwise, but not all the way through. Open leeks like a book and wash well in cold running water to remove all sand and dirt. Bring a 12" deep-sided skillet of salted water to a boil, add leeks, and cook over medium heat until soft but not mushy, about 6 minutes. Transfer leeks to a large bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further. Carefully split leeks completely in half lengthwise, and transfer to a rack, cut side down, to drain thoroughly.
Whisk vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly, until vinaigrette is smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings and set aside. Remove leaves from 4 of the parsley sprigs, chop leaves, and set aside.
Divide leek halves equally among 4 warm salad plates. Drizzle vinaigrette over leeks, and sprinkle with chopped parsley and egg. Garnish each plate with a sprig of parsley.
Stuffed Leeks with Blue Cheese, Raisins, and Almonds
- 4 large leeks rinsed (3 1⁄4 lb.)
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 ⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 ⁄2 stick unsalted butter melted
- 1 ⁄3 cup raisins chopped
- 1 ⁄4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1 ⁄4 cup dill chopped
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 ⁄2 tbsp. hot sauce
- 1 1 ⁄2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 24 almonds coarsely chopped
- 2 anchovy fillets chopped (optional)
Prepare a woodburning or indoor oven to 425°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet or cake pan with a 15x34-inch piece of parchment paper (half the sheet will be hanging off), or use two 13x17-inch pieces.
Cut the dark green parts off of the leeks, then finely chop them until you have 1 cup; reserve. Starting 1⁄4 inch from the roots of the leeks, cut the leeks lengthwise down the center, leaving the bottommost layer intact. Run the leeks under cold running water, gently separating the leaves to release any dirt, then pat dry.
Transfer the leeks to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle 1⁄4 tsp. salt over each leek.
In a medium bowl, mix the oil, butter, raisins, cheese, dill, vinegar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, almonds, anchovies (if using), remaining salt, and reserved chopped leek greens. Spoon a scant 1⁄2 cup of the mixture down the center of each leek.
Fold the hanging edge of the parchment paper over the leeks, or place a second piece of parchment on top, to cover. Tuck the edges under and fold, creating a sealed pouch.
Roast for 30 minutes. Then remove and discard the top layer of parchment paper. If cooking with wood fire, shift the pan closer to the heat source. For an indoor oven, preheat to broil.
Roast or broil the leeks until the leeks and filling are slightly charred in places, 2–3 minutes. Carefully cut each in half crosswise using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, and serve.
Chicken with Cauliflower and Leeks in Red Wine Sauce
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 very small garlic heads tops trimmed off
- One 5-lb. chicken cut into 6 or 8 pieces
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper plus 1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 4 1 ⁄4 cups chicken stock preferably homemade
- 4 1 ⁄4 cups côtes du rhône or another dry red wine
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs plus more for garnish
- 1 whole clove
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 4 cups small 1-inch cauliflower florets, preferably a mix of colors
- 1 small yellow onion halved and thinly sliced
- 1 medium leek halved lengthwise, rinsed, and cut into four long pieces
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small ovenproof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Once bubbling, add the garlic cut side down. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven; cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside (but do not turn off the oven).
Meanwhile, season the chicken generously all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the olive oil to a large cocotte or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken skin side down (work in batches as needed to avoid crowding); cook until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn and cook 5 minutes on the remaining side.
Remove the chicken to a small baking sheet, and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from the cocotte. Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest piece reads 155°, about 15 minutes.
Heat the reserved fat in the cocotte over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the wine, 2 thyme sprigs, the clove, bay leaf, black peppercorns, celery, cauliflower, and yellow onion; season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Add the leek and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and transfer to a platter; keep warm. In a small bowl, mash together the remaining 1 tablespoon each flour and butter with your fingers, then whisk them into the sauce. Bring to a rapid boil and cook until the sauce has reduced and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Return the vegetables to the cocotte. Place the chicken in the center or nestled throughout. Garnish with the garlic heads and more fresh thyme. Serve immediately.
Creamy Pappardelle with Leeks and Bacon
Recipe by Sara Jenkins
Photograph by Ditte Isager
This twist on pasta carbonara is sweet from leeks and rich thanks to cream (in place of eggs).
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 pound pappardelle or fettuccine
1 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5-8 minutes. Add leeks and season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until leeks begin to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add cream, thyme, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
Add pasta, Parmesan, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta.
Quick Pickled Cucumbers, Carrots, and Shallots
- 2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 red jalapeno with seeds, thinly sliced crosswise
- 4 cucumbers sliced 1/4" thick
- 1 large yellow or orange carrot peeled, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 2 medium shallots thinly sliced into rings
Bring vinegar, sugar, lime juice, salt, jalapeño, and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let cool 10 minutes.
Place cucumbers, carrot, and shallots in a large bowl and add pickling liquid. Cover and chill at least 4 hours and up to 5 days.
Recipe by Paula Disbrowe
Photograph by Sarah Flotard
Deviled Eggs with Crispy Shallot Gremolata
- 12 large eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large shallot thinly sliced into rings
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus more
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and cover. Let sit 9 minutes. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice bath.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper-towels; season with salt and let cool.
Peel eggs and halve lengthwise. Pop out yolks and place in a medium bowl; reserve whites. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice to yolks and stir with a fork or whisk until very smooth; season with salt and more lemon juice, if desired.
Toss chives, parsley, lemon zest, and reserved shallots in a small bowl; season with salt.
Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip (or use a resealable plastic bag with a hole cut out in the corner). Scoop egg yolk mixture into pastry bag and pipe into egg whites. Top with shallot gremolata before serving.
Special Equipment A large star tip and a pastry bag
Recipe by Alison Roman
Photograph by Alex Lau