Tag Archives: Roasting

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.

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Filed under Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Marsala Roasted Root Vegetables

Marsala Roasted Root Vegetables

We are up to our eyeballs in root vegetables.  We picked up the third and final installment of our Shared Harvest CSA yesterday and our fridges are full of parsnips, carrots, turnips, and celeriac while our basement closet is stocked with white and sweet potatoes.  Admittedly, we tend to get a little complacent about preparing our roots.  Our standard approach is to wash/peel/chop whichever vegetables we have handy, toss them with olive oil and salt, and roast them on a cookie sheet until they are tender enough to eat.  While this is certainly a tasty and easy approach, it can get monotonous when you use the same preparation technique over and over.

Locally grown root vegetables

However, there is a real appeal to cooking these vegetables this way.  The high heat of the oven caramelizes the sugars that most root vegetables are full of and softens the bite of strong vegetables like parsnips.  Plus, it is easy to clean and chop the vegetables while the kids are napping, then simply toss them into the oven about an hour before dinner.  Vegetables are on the table and there was no complicated or labor intensive prep.

Marsala wine

In the name of maintaining the delicious simplicity of roasting, we decided to try this recipe for Marsala wine roasted root vegetables.  The addition of butter, thyme, sage, and Marsala wine adds a welcome complexity to the flavor of the roots.  The mix of sweet carrots and potatoes, sharp parsnips, and earthy turnips creates a nice balance to the dish.  Serve it alongside roasted pork or chicken for a lovely winter meal.

Herbed vegetables ready to roast

Marsala Roasted Root Vegetables

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Favorites

Ingredients:

1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 lb turnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 tbls butter

1 tlbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried sage

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup Marsala wine

2 tbls chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

To Make:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil.  Add the carrots, parsnips, and turnips and simmer until the vegetables give slightly when pierced with a fork, about 4 minutes.  Drain well.

Place all the vegetables in a large roasting pan that has been lined with aluminum foil (for the sake of easy clean up).  In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.  Add the olive oil, thyme, sage, and nutmeg and stir to mix well.  Drizzle butter mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the Marsala wine into the bottom of the pan.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Roast for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil, toss the vegetables, and continue to roast, uncovered, until the Marsala evaporates and the vegetables can be easily pierced with a knife, 10-20 minutes more.  Remove vegetables to a platter and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

To Serve:

Serve immediately.  Serves 4 as a side dish.

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Filed under CSA Talk, Dinner, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian