County Kerry Creamed Leeks

January  6, 2013
5 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

When my husband and I visited Ireland in 2000, we fell in love not only with the friendly Irish people, but also their cuisine. We enjoyed creamed leeks in a pub while we were touring the Ring of Kerry. I promptly made my version, which includes lemon thyme and Meyer lemon zest, as soon as we arrived home. I've been making it ever since!
TIP: Use good Irish butter. —Lizthechef

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 4-6 leeks, washed, trimmed - white and light green parts only - cut into 1/4 inch thick circles (about 1/2 pound of leeks)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves (or any fresh thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest (or any fresh lemon zest)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  1. Using a small saucepan, heat the milk until it simmers, when small bubbles form at the sides of the pan. Keep milk warm over very low heat.
  2. Using a medium-sized saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, then stir in the flour, stirring and cooking over medium heat 2-3 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the hot milk, cooking over medium heat, and stir until sauce thickens - when it coats the back of a wooden spoon - about 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  4. Using a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook until leeks begin to wilt and green color brightens, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the sauce to the leeks, stir, then cover and cook over very low heat for 5 minutes. Serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MyCommunalTable
  • anotherfoodieblogger
  • Droplet
  • aargersi
  • mrslarkin

9 Reviews

Melfish June 21, 2020
MyCommunalTable October 4, 2013
This is my kind of food. I am going to make it with soy milk because of my son's allergies. A white sauce made with high quality organic soy milk is good, but not like as lovely as this one.
Lizthechef October 4, 2013
I hope you and Gabe enjoy it, Elizabeth -
anotherfoodieblogger September 30, 2013
What is Irish Butter? Inquiring minds want to know. :)
Lizthechef October 1, 2013
The most popular brand of Irish butter found in most US supermarkets is Kerry Gold.
Droplet January 26, 2013
This sounds wonderful
aargersi January 7, 2013
These sound great Liz! I would love them with salmon too!
mrslarkin January 6, 2013
You've read my mind...I've been dreaming about leeks in bechamel sauce. Sounds amazing, and equally amazing photo!
Lizthechef January 6, 2013
We just ate this for supper, along with poached salmon - very Irish ;)