This summer, my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf is working as an apprentice at a local organic farm. He absolutely loves it. And I adore that's he's such a sponge for knowledge. He comes home every day that he works and explains to Jake what kind of flowers they need to plant as pest indicators; he shares with us how to plant multiple crops together to balance the nutrients in the soil. This really is the perfect summer job for him!
One Saturday he invited me to join him and I was put on weeding a row of red cabbage seedlings. Then we pulled up some leeks to take home. I'll be honest: getting paid in vegetables makes me so happy.
This is a really simple preparation that renders the leeks silky smooth.
Ingredients serves 4 to 6
- 3 to 4 organic leeks, trimmed, cleaned, and halved lengthwise
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used leftover sourdough whirled in a food processor)
- 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan, divided
- juice from 1 organic lemon
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
Melt the butter in olive oil over a medium flame in a large sauté pan; I used my enameled cast iron braiser. Once the butter is melted and the the oil hot, place the leeks cut-side down in the pan.
Let the leeks brown in the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the leeks over and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let the leeks braise for about 25 to 30 minutes, until they are completely softened.
Stir the bread crumbs and 1 Tablespoon grated parmesan together. Set aside.
Remove the cover from the leeks. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the braised leeks. Spoon the bread crumb topping over the leeks. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan, salt, and pepper. Replace the cover and heat until the cheese is melted, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.