Tag Archives: CSA

Slow Roasted Leeks

Slow Roasted Leeks

Leeks are beloved in our house.  We get very excited whenever leeks arrive in our CSA boxes or show up at the farmer’s market.  If you have never had leeks they have a mild onion-y and garlicky flavor that is really delicious.  You can finely chop, saute, and add them to soups, quiches, or strata.  Or, you can do what we do… slow roast them with a little butter until they are melt-in-your-mouth soft and delicious.

Fresh CSA Leeks

This is how we make leeks 90% of the time.  It is one of those recipes that is exceptionally simple and uses only a few ingredients but elevates the leeks from a supporting player to a stand-alone side dish.  I know there are other culinary options out there but this is so darn good that we keep coming back to it.  Why mess with perfection?

Washing the grit away

A note on prepping leeks: they tend to be very dirty and gritty because of the way their concentric rings push up through the soil when they are growing.  To help combat this, cut them in half lengthwise and soak them, cut side down, in a deep bowl of cold water.  Don’t be afraid to let them soak for at least 20-30 minutes.  Then remove the halves and rinse under cold running water (I like to separate the leaves at the ends just a little bit to make sure all the grit is rinsed out).  Pat dry before cooking.

Boiled and buttered

Slow Roasted Leeks

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Ingredients:

12 slender leeks, white and light green parts only halved lengthwise, well cleaned (it is helpful to leave the barest sliver of the base intact to help the leaves hold together)

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

4 tbls unsalted butter

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To make:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil.  Add the leeks in a single layer, cut sides down, cover and bring the stock back to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.

Carefully remove the leeks, draining out the excess stock (reserve the stock for another use such as soup or to make mashed potatoes to serve alongside your leeks).  Pour about 1 tbls of the butter into a large baking dish and spread around.  Place the leeks in the baking dish, cut sides up, and drizzle with the remaining butter.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Place the baking dish in the oven and roast, uncovered, until the leeks are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 40-60 minutes.

To Serve:

Serve immediately drizzled with any pan juices that remain.  Serves 4 as a side dish.

4 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Yummy Vegetables (and Cream of Roasted Fennel Soup)

We got our first of three winter CSA distributions on Saturday.  Look at all the great things we got!

First Winter CSA Distribution

We got about 35 lbs of produce including apples, kale, various squashes, leeks, celery, parsnips, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, peppers, cabbage, fennel, and a kohlrabi.  The bounty covered most of our kitchen island.  The biggest challenge is trying to find the right storage for all these vegetables. 

So far, everything we have eaten has been delicious.  The apples are super fresh, the carrots are sweet, and the celery has more flavor than any celery I have had before.  Tonight for dinner we made a cream of roasted fennel soup.  We didn’t take any pictures because, honestly, we weren’t really expecting much.  Fennel is one of those vegetables that I think people either love or hate.  The flavor is pretty distinct and strong.  I expected the soup to be strongly flavored of licorice.  Turns out, it was really delicious.  Roasting the fennel and cooking it with onions, potato, some half-and-half, and cumin creates a rich and creamy soup with subtle undertones of fennel.  I am posting the recipe for all those other CSA members out there who don’t know what to do with their fennel.

Cream of Roasted Fennel Soup

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Simple Soups and Stews

Ingredients:

1-2 fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)

1 large white onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup half-and-half

2 tbls lemon juice

1/2 tsp ground cumin

To Make:

Trim tough stalks and bottom stem from fennel bulb.  Cut the bulb into 1/2 inch slices.  Arrange the fennel and onion on a baking sheet, toss with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Roast in a 375 degree oven until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the roasted fennel and onion to a soup pot.  Add the stock and potato.  Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Puree in a blender in batches (or all at once with a stick blender).  Return the mixture to the soup pot and stir in the lemon juice, cumin, and half-and-half.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Serve:

Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as a first course.

2 Comments

Filed under CSA Talk, Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian