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Author Notes: This recipe is a leek lovers dream. It starts out with a large pile of leeks cut to mimic the appearance of fettuccine. The end result is a reduced, sweet, creamy pot of caramelized leeks that could easily pass for pasta alla carbonara. It’s rich and pairs well as a side dish with simply grilled chicken, shrimp or pan-seared sea scallops. —alextillotson
Serves 2 as a generous side
- 2 pounds leeks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 3/4 cup chicken stock, room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Bring a large stock pot full of salted water to boil.
- Meanwhile, trim leeks of dark green outer layers and roots. Cut stalks in half crosswise, then lengthwise and rinse. Slice each into strips the same width of fettuccine. Soak in a bowl of cold water and rinse to remove any residual dirt.
- Blanch leeks in boiling water until bright green and soft, about 2-3 minutes. Drain.
- Heat olive oil and bacon in a heavy bottom pot set over medium heat. When bacon is crisp, remove and drain on paper towel. Add leeks to remaining fat. Sauté over medium heat until leeks begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup stock and deglaze pot. Stir, allowing leeks to absorb stock, then continue to add remaining stock in ¼ cup increments, waiting until stock has absorbed before each addition. Leeks should become soft and golden in color.
- Add cream to leeks slowly. After cream is incorporated, add yolk and quickly stir to incorporate. Add lemon zest, Pecorino Romano and chives. Crumble bacon over top and season to taste.
- Serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Vegetable Recipe