Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leeks in Olive Oil (Zeytinyagli Pirasa)

If you never tried leeks in olive oil, get ready for a pleasant surprise. The flavor combination is very light and tasty. Leeks, like garlic and onions, belong to a vegetable family called the Allium vegetables. Since leeks are related to garlic and onions, they contain many of the same beneficial compounds found in these well-researched, health-promoting vegetables. Despite the health benefits and distinct flavor leeks have been overlooked in many kitchens and only used for adding flavor to stock. This recipe is an example of classic Turkish olive oil dishes and like all the olive oil dishes it tastes much better when it is cold, so be sure to allow time for chilling before serving.

3-4 Leeks
1 (medium/big) onion
1/3 cup olive oil
2 small carrots, halved and sliced
1/4 cup or 2 tablespoons white rice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 1/2 cups water

1. Trim leeks and remove a few of the outer layers, discard tough green leaves. Wash leeks well in several changes of water, spreading the leaves apart to rid the of sand.

2. Cut the leeks in rounds or crosswise into 1 inch lenghts and set aside

3. Heat olive oil (medium heat) and saute the onion until transparent stirring frequently
4. Stir in leeks and carrots and stir for 3 min.

5. Add the water, sugar and salt and raise to a boil

6. Add the rice after the water reaches boil

7. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the leeks and rice are tender but still intact.

I strongly recommend squeezing a bit of lemon juice over just before serving.

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