Bloomin’ Leeks With Green Ranch Dressing From Noor Murad

October 26, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Elena Heatherwick
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4, as a starter
Author Notes

"These funky-looking leeks went on a bit of a journey, originally starting out as the famous bloomin’ onion you’d find at an American Outback Steakhouse. What makes the bloomin’ onion so striking is the way it’s cut to open out like a flower, then fried in a crispy batter. Many tests and several ups and downs later, it was decided that leeks, treated in a similar fashion, would also work well in delivering that delicate allium flavor. Plus, they sort of look like duck feet, which is really quite dramatic." —Excerpted from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things by Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi Clarkson Potter Copyright © 2022


What You'll Need
  • Leeks
  • 4 medium leeks (try to get ones that are at least ¾-inch/2cm thick, with more white exposed)
  • 3 cups (700ml) sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 2/3 cup (65 grams) chickpea flour
  • 1 cup (115 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) buttermilk
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Green Ranch Dressing
  • 3/4 ounce (20 grams) chives, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (10 grams) dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 limes (1½ tablespoons of juice and 1 whole lime cut into 4 wedges, for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sour cream
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Prepare the leeks by trimming away the dark and light green parts (saving these for stock). You want to be left with just the white part (trimmed to around 6 inches/15cm long). Trim away at the root end, getting rid of any hairy roots, but make sure to still keep some of the root intact. Using a sharp knife, make an incision down the length of the leek (about ½ inch/1cm deep), stopping ¾ inch/2cm short of the root. Turn the leek over and make an incision down the length of the opposite side. Do this again to make eight incisions in total. The leek should open up now to look like a mop.
  2. Fill a large, high-sided sauté pan, for which you have a lid, three-quarters full with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Add the leeks, cover with the lid, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and transfer the leeks to a colander to drain for 10 minutes, then place them on a clean kitchen towel. Dry them as well as you can. Drain the water and dry out the pan (you’ll use this again for frying).
  3. Meanwhile, make the green ranch dressing by first putting the herbs, garlic, buttermilk, olive oil, lime juice, mustard, ⅓ teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of pepper into a food processor and blitzing until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the sour cream. Refrigerate until needed.
  4. Pour the sunflower oil into the sauté pan and heat on medium-high.
  5. While the oil is heating, make the batter. Put the chickpea flour, 1/3 cup/40g of the cornstarch, the spices and ¾ teaspoon of salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the eggs and buttermilk until smooth and there are no lumps. Put the remaining ⅔ cup/75g of cornstarch into a separate large shallow bowl.
  6. Test the oil is hot enough by drizzling in a bit of batter—it should sizzle and puff up immediately but not color too quickly. Working with two at a time, dip each leek into the cornstarch and use your fingers to make sure all the strands are well coated. Shake off the excess and then dip it into the batter. Again, use your fingers to try to coat all thestrands (don’t worry if it’s not perfect), then squeeze down the length of the leek to get rid of any excess batter. You want the leek to be nicely coated but not overly so. Lastly, try to spread the strands as best you can, then carefully transfer to the hot oil. Do the same with the other leek, frying each for 6 minutes, flipping over halfway through, until deeply browned. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and sprinkle with a little flaked salt. Repeat with the remaining two leeks.
  7. Divide the leeks among four plates with a lime wedge each. Serve warm, with the green ranch dressing alongside to dip into.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

0 Reviews