Buttery Braised Leeks with a Crispy Panko Topping

By • January 4, 2013 • 64 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe keeps the beautiful vibrance of the leeks intact while the juice from the lemon brings a great balance and acidity to the dish. The topping is crispy and cheesy which is a perfect foil to the buttery texture of the leeks. This recipe serves as an appetizer but it would also be great blitzed into a dip or a topping for homemade pizza! amber wilson | for the love of the south

Food52 Review: WHO: for the love of the south is a food blogger who, clearly, has a way with leeks.
WHAT: A balanced, buttery side you'll want to eat all by itself.
HOW: Just brown, braise, bread, and serve!
WHY WE LOVE IT: You'd think a dish with "buttery" in the title would be overwhelmingly rich. You'd be wrong. Lemon and parsley don't let all of that butter steal the show -- they keep the whole dish in check. You'll need to keep going back for more, just to see how good these really are.
A&M

Serves 2 as a side

Braised Leeks

  • 2 leeks, trimmed, cleaned, and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Crispy Panko Topping

  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped, leaves only
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter and olive oil over a medium-high flame in a large sauté pan. Once the oil and butter are hot, place the leeks cut side down into the pan. Let the leeks brown in the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip the leeks over and turn the heat on low. Cover and let the leeks braise for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the leeks are soft all the way through. Take the leeks off the heat and squirt the lemon juice over the braised leeks and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the panko topping.
  2. For the panko topping: Combine panko with parsley, Parmesan, and salt and pepper in a small dish. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast this mixture until golden brown. Serve over the leeks. Make sure that you taste the panko mixture for correct seasonings to ensure that the dish is seasoned all the way through.
Jump to Comments (64)

Tags: braise, breadcrumbs, stovetop, Vegetables

Comments (64) Questions (0)

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3 months ago AXiu

Not my favourite way to make leek, but it tasted good. Next time I'll leave the panko topping to the side, as I didn't like how the topping lost its "crispness" after sprinkling on the lemon-covered leeks.

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8 months ago toddbob3

These were great! Fantastic recipe!

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8 months ago Juliebell

This is an easy and very delicious side to roasted meat or poultry. I had a bit of the panko mix left over and used it on roasted asperagus. Thanks for a real winner!

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8 months ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Such a great idea! I will do that next time I have roasted veggies leftover! Thanks so much for sharing!
x
Amber

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7 months ago Shirl

Amber, this is one that a friend gave me that is delcious. We did love the leek recipe, too.
Breaded Asparagus (oven)
Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Make sure the asparagus is pretty wet to get the flour to stick.
Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the panko breadcrumbs,
parmesan, salt and pepper. Hubby and I did a fun assembly line. :D
Place the asparagus on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425 oven until golden brown,
about 7-13 minutes.
My hubby made a sauce by mixing mayonnaise, ketchup, and dijonaise.

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7 months ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Shirl,
Thanks so much for this recipe! It looks wonderful and such a lovely dish to make with my favorite springtime veggies, asparagus!
x
Amber

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over 1 year ago Barie

WOW! This was absolutely divine. The lemon and the leek are soul mates! The panko/parm topping was delish - will make this again and again and again.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

So glad you loved the leeks! Thank you!

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over 1 year ago Shirl

This sounds divine. I love leeks and have them in the garden. One of my favorite recipes is a potato leek soup that I make frequently.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Oh I hope you love it!

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over 1 year ago petitbleu

Making these tonight to go with leftover lamb shawarma. They smell amazing thus far! I cannot wait to bite into these!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Oh that sounds like a lovely meal! Enjoy!

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over 1 year ago QueenOfGreen

This. Bubbly. And a movie. Perfect Friday night. Thank you!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

You're welcome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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over 1 year ago Boolene

Did not have any parsley. Used cilantro. Gave the leeks an Asian flare. Figured it would be okay with Panko and it was. Loved the simplicity. Great dish.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Oh I need to try the dish with cilantro and lime juice to substitute the parsley and lemon juice next time I make it! Great addition!

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over 1 year ago chop chop

Made this for dinner. Delicious and simple.

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over 1 year ago Sara from Ringingthedinnerbell.com

Made these last night - they're GREAT!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

So happy you enjoyed them!

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over 1 year ago Sara from Ringingthedinnerbell.com

Sooooo good!
Thank you!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

It was my pleasure to share this recipe!

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over 1 year ago ortolan

I just made these tonight!, they were wonderful Verdict: even if the technique as written doesn't sound like a braise, the end effect, if you will, definitely can be called "braised." One would never argue with the finished result. I served this with a romesco sauce I made earlier and the combination was utterly divine. I would add salt to the leeks while they were braising, as I didn't want to completely cover them with the bread crumb mixture to rely on the only seasonings.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Sounds like an awesome combination with a romesco sauce! Must try now...

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over 1 year ago Summer of Eggplant

Congratulations!!!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Thank you so much!

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over 1 year ago creamtea

Looks delicious!

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over 1 year ago jifferb

MMMMMM! made these today and they are fantastic! And I thought they cooked perfectly, I wouldn't change a thing! Harvest Queen, maybe if you cooked them for the last 25 minutes at a lower temperature that would help. Thank you for the excellent recipe! And I am loving your blog!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

I am so pleased that you liked the leeks! Thank you so much for the complement about my blog!

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over 1 year ago dkkporter

I made this dish for my family and they LOVED it. It is incredibly easy to make, and the ordinarily humble leek turns into a decadent side to a grilled steak dinner. Thanks for sharing!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Oh I'm so glad that your family loved it!

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over 1 year ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I had a feeling about this recipe as soon as you posted it. Warm congratulations on your win.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

I appreciate the encouragement so much!

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over 1 year ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

;0)

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over 1 year ago Kaitlyn R.

@HarvestQueen, if you know the definition of braise, you would know that the name is correct.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Well, that is kind, but everyone can have their say. If someone wants to call this recipe a steamed leek recipe, braised, smothered, browned... whatever they like, that's fine! As long as they love and appreciate the delicate care in which these beauties are cooked, that's all that matters!

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over 1 year ago Harvest Queen

I agree with ortolan. The lemon is added at the end, not while the leeks are cooking; and in my case, some liquid would have helped the leeks cook better, without getting too crisp on the edges. We enjoyed the flavor combinations, but next time will add liquid and cook longer.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Well I'm glad that ya'll enjoyed the flavor combination! Tweaking recipes to fit your personal preference (or your family's preference!) is what I do as well. I enjoy the flavor of the browned leeks, but if you like them cooked down more, by all means add some liquid to that pan!

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over 1 year ago Stephanie G.

YUM. I've always been a bit afraid of leeks, but I am totally conquering my fear with this recipe! So fun that you're a young, Southern food blogger—very best of luck!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Honestly, this is the first recipe I ever made with leeks and its so simple and easy to do! It took out that fear factor that you're talking about! I just thought of textures and flavors that I love together and this dish was the result!

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over 1 year ago ortolan

Since the leeks aren't actually braising in any liquid, but rather, are steaming in a covered pan after being seared, shouldn't this recipe be renamed? I mean, it looks totally delicious, but it's not a braise!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Ginny Wilson 2

This recipe seems to be a combination of both, which by definition is braising. She is using butter and lemon for liquid, and uses both moist and dry heat in the process...seared first, then covered. I believe the recipe name fits perfectly!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Trust me, I spent some time dabbling about what the technical name should be. I totally understand. What I found out is that a simple braise is first browned and covered to cook with liquid. My liquid element is butter and olive oil that I first place into the pan before adding the leeks. After you rinse the leeks well, there will also be some water clinging to the vegetable, which also helps with the braising process! It's a simple braise that I find best for leeks! I hope this helps!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Ginny Wilson 2

Honestly, I've never tried using leeks in a recipe. The simple braising of these, with seasonings like lemon and parmesan, urges me to make a quick trip to the store and give it a try. Looks delish!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Thanks Ginny! The flavors seem to compliment each other well!

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over 1 year ago teamom

This should classify as a "Genius" recipe. Simple. Delicious. I've made it three times now - once as written, and twice more with differently seasoned panko crumbs. Works every time! (

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Thank you for the kind words!

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over 1 year ago teamom

Oh, pardon me. I meant that I made this three different ways (at the same time). Still a winner in my world!

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over 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I love the simplicity of this. It's really just beautiful.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Thank you so much!

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over 1 year ago sel et poivre

I will try this pronto!

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, I love that the leek is able to stand alone in this dish. Sounds really delicious.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

The leek is the star! Thank you so much!

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over 1 year ago The Southern Coterie

Know the fresh parsley and lemon brighten it up, sounds delish! Tell us how you would turn it into a dip.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Toss the braised leeks into a food processor, add a good glug of olive oil and grated parm, puree, and season to taste with salt and pepper. You can then sprinkle the top of the dip with the panko topping for added texture!

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over 1 year ago MyCommunalTable

I love the simplicity of this dish. Congrats.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Much appreciated! To me, leeks should be treated with tender lovin' care!

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over 1 year ago Kaitlyn R.

So delicious! Your recipe is excellent and super easy to follow!! I know that this is our winner!! Congrats!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Thank you for the kind words!

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over 1 year ago Waverly

This looks wonderful. Congratulations!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Congrats to you as well! Your dish looks amazing!

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over 1 year ago fearlessem

I'm confused -- what are the leeks braising in? The recipe doesn't specify what or how much liquid should be added...

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

It's a simple braise really by adding the leeks to the olive oil and the butter. The oil, butter and the finishing touch of lemon juice is the only liquid that is required for the recipe! Hope this helps!

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almost 2 years ago joannajw

delicious!

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Thank you so much!