melt butter in large pot over medium-low heat. add leeks and stir to coat with the oil. stir in water (start with 1/3 cup and add more as needed if it evaporates) and salt. Cover pot; reduce heat to very low heat. cook until leeks are tender but not brown, stirring often, about 25 minutes. uncover and cook to evaporate excess water, 2 to 3 minutes. serve warm or room temperature. stores well in fridge for up to a week. warm up before using.
leeks may well be the harbinger of spring, at least for me. i mean, look at those colors-from white to the palest pear green all the way to the color of grass. it just screams spring. here in austin, we see this season a little earlier than the rest of you folks up to the north. but don’t worry, it IS coming. and when you are feeling the grass for the first time under your feet next month, we’ll be sweltering in the 90’s.
until then, let’s just enjoy it while we can. if you like carmelized onions, you will love this. confit is a term more often used when referring to meat cooked for a long period of time, usually in it’s own fat. it imparts a lovely, velvety texture unlike any other method of cooking. it also means, in a more general way, to cook something very slowly. this slow method, like roasting, can bring out the sweetness and essence of a fruit or vegetable. this is one of those recipes that can be used to enhance so many fabulous dishes, like topping broiled or baked fish, adding to pizza, or as an appetizer. we spooned it over fresh goat cheese spread on freshly toasted baguettes slices–truly heavenly.
add leeks to melted butter in saute pan:
stir to coat with oil, add your salt and water:
put the lid on and turn flame down to very low:
after 10 minutes of cooking, give it a stir and check your water level, add more if most of the water has absorbed:
and after 20 minutes it looks like this. i ended up using a bit more water– about 1/2 cup total:
and the requisite shot of all things confited, chutneyed, or jammed; the mixture in a glass jar with a beautiful wooden spoon:
leek confit (adapted from bon appetit)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only and washed well to remove any sand or grit), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
1/3-1/2 cup water water
1/2 teaspoon salt