My obsession with salmon has subsided a little bit and these days I’m crushing on leeks. When I realized I bought too many the other day, I looked up a recipe to pickle them so they wouldn’t go to waste. Now you know I’m all about quick and easy so imagine how thrilled I was to find one that took twenty minutes from start to finish and I had all the ingredients on hand!
This easy recipe is from Chicago chef Paul Virant’s cookbook, The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux. I had never even tasted these wonderful veggies pickled before and what a treat! They go great with pasta, fish, salads, glazed vegetables and roasted meats. So pretty much everything!
This week I will be heading out to get some fiddleheads and wild leeks from my favorite place to shop – Nicholyn Farms and Barrie Hill Farms. They are picked locally in the forests and disappear quickly because they’re so popular. Last year I made a Halloumi & Za’atar Fattoush Salad that was a hit on the blog. Love that za’atar! Wild leeks look more like scallions as you can see below.
They are not only tasty but also chock full of vitamin K. They are very good source of manganese, vitamin B6, copper, iron, folate and vitamin C. Leeks are also a good source of vitamin A in the form of carotenoids, dietary fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re not into pickling or preserving, no worries – this requires no previous experience and you’ll be thrilled that you were able to do this so easily. Don’t forget to hashtag #simplyfreshdinners with your creations on Twitter or Instagram so I can see what you’re up to. Cheers!
- 4 leeks
- 1½ cups Champagne vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2 teaspoons zest and 3 tablespoons juice)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Using a sharp knife, slice off the root ends of the leeks, keeping as much of the white ends intact as possible. Trim away the dark-green tips and discard. Make an incision lengthwise halfway through the leek. Pry the leek open and run under water, fanning it open to remove any residual dirt. Slice the leeks crosswise into ¼-inch pieces. (You should have about 4 cups leeks.
- In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with the water, thyme, bay leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the leeks, cover and simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate until needed. (This recipe can be made more than a week in advance and will keep for 2 weeks, so long as the leeks stay submerged in the pickling liquid.)
- Note: I added another couple of thyme sprigs on top before sealing because I love it.
PS. I just had to share one pic of many shots I took last week when I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours observing a fox den. There were two moms with their kits and it was an extraordinary experience. I’ll be posting more photos on the next Tuesday Tidbits. Aren’t they just adorable?!