November 23, 2016

Three Leek Recipes To Love

caramelized-leek-and-onion-tartlettThough leeks are a favorite any time of year, we especially enjoy the mellow onion flavor when the air is beginning to turn crisp. Similar in flavor (and appearance) to a green onion, leeks are a great substitute or addition to your favorite onion dishes. If you're not sure how to use this amazingly diverse vegetable, read on for three delicious and comforting recipes perfect for this holiday season.
Caramelized Leek and Onion Tartlets
makes 24 mini tartlets

These mini tartlets are great for starting your holiday party. They're simple to make and your guests will love them. They have a delicate onion flavor and sweetness from the caramelization. The Gruyere gives them a nutty and salty taste, but feel free to swap it for your favorite cheese.

Ingredients:

1 large leek
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup half and half
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or parsley, minced
1 package phyllo dough (you will only need 6 sheets)
1/2 cup melted butter, for the phyllo dough

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Chop off the green top part of the leek and the root off the bottom. Now slice the leek lengthwise. Rinse in cold water to remove any soil. Slice and finely chop.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until the onions start to caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add in the leek, salt and pepper and sweat a few minutes more until the leeks are soft. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine the half & half, egg and grated cheeses. Add in the fresh thyme or parsley, then pour this mixture into the skillet with the leek and onion. Stir to combine.

Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on a flat surface and brush on a thin layer of the melted butter to cover the whole sheet. Lay another sheet on top and continue this process until you have layered three sheets. Repeat this with the other three sheets in a separate stack. Cut each stack of phyllo into 12 square pieces each.

Grease 2 mini tart/muffin tins with melted butter, then lay the buttered phyllo in each cup so that the phyllo creates a star shape and comes up the sides to make a nest.

Spoon the mixture into each tart and bake in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges are nicely brown and the cheese has melted. Let cool slightly and transfer each tart to a plate.

**Can be made ahead and cooked just before serving.

Serve warm.

For a print friendly version of this recipe, click here.

onion-soup-gratine

Onion Soup Gratine
serves 4

The slow caramelization of cooking the onions, leeks and shallots gives this French onion-like soup a rich and complex flavor. Gratine in French means to top with a browned crust, typically bread and cheese. Cooking this soup takes some time (and a little patience), but it will be worth every minute.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 leeks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Marsala wine
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
8 cups vegetable or beef stock
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
4 thick slices of artisan bread, toasted until crisp
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium clove garlic
1 pound Gruyere cheese, grated
freshly minced chives, for garnish

Instructions:

In a large, thick-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until smoky. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add in the shallots and leeks. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until onions, leeks and shallots are a rich golden brown in color, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Be careful not to burn the onions, or they will end up tasting bitter. If the browned onions threaten to burn, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, scrape up the browned bits and continue cooking. At the end of the cooking time, season with salt and pepper.

Pour in the Marsala wine and apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer, scraping up any caramelized bits. Cook until the alcohol is mostly gone, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, garlic, thyme sprig and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Discard thyme stems and bay leaf.

Preheat the broiler and position oven rack to top position. Butter toasts and rub all over with the garlic clove until fragrant.

Spoon the soup into 4 oven-proof serving bowls, until 3/4 full. Top with garlic toast and smother with cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and browned in spots.

Garnish with chives and serve.

For a print friendly version of this recipe, click here.

leek-and-mushroom-saute

Leek and Mushroom Saute
serves 2

Ingredients:

1 leek
2 tablespoons olive oil
approx. 3.5 oz (1 package) brown beech mushroom
approx. 3.5 oz (1 package) maitake mushroom
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions:

Chop off the green top part of the leek and the root off the bottom. Slice into 1/8-inch slices. Rinse in cold water to remove any soil. Pat dry.

Heat a cast iron skillet or sauté pan on medium heat. Add in the oil and heat until oil begins to smoke. Lay the slices of leek flat on the skillet and caramelize, about 5 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are tender about 10 to 15 minutes. Add in rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Pour onto a plate and dust with Parmesan cheese.

For a print friendly version, click here.

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