Baked leeks, or how easy could a side dish be? Leeks are phenomenal to cook with. The longer you cook them, the better they become. At least that what I think.
It’s like onions really: in the end they are so extremely soft, sweet and savory.
Do you often cook with leeks?
Both me and my husband are huge fans of leeks.
It’s also a very popular vegetable in Belgium. My mum and dad would grow leeks in our vegetable garden when I was little. There were rows and rows of them. Lots of leeks, but then there were seven mouths to fill in our family.
My mom could make fabulous vegetable soups with fresh leeks.
In the weekends she would send my brother out (the only boy) to go and dig out a couple of leeks in the garden. It didn’t matter whether it was raining or not. He had to go out and get them.
I still remember that fresh and gras like onion smell when my mom sliced them up for the soup. Us kids could hardly wait to go sit at the kitchen table and enjoy a bowl of that leek soup. We would dip our cheese sandwiches in it.
Baked Leeks in the Oven
What dishes to you cook often with leeks apart from soups?
We like to chop them finely up and braise them for an hour in lots of butter. Pinch of pepper and nutmeg in the end. It’s a lovely side dish for fish, salt cod for example! I sometimes add a handful of pre cooked wheat berries and a splash of chicken stock to the braised leeks. Cover the pan again and let the barley get tender.
And there you go: a creamy and buttery leek and barley risotto!
Do you love these baked leeks?
Then also take a look at similar recipes: grilled green onion & romesco sauce.
Or how about my baked sweet onion recipe! It’s more or less the same prepping method but just with a different vegetable…
Baked Leeks in the Oven Recipe
- 4 small fresh leeks
- ½ cup vegetable stock (120 ml)
- 1 tsp garlic chopped
- olive oil
- Remove the roots and outer layer of the leeks. Place them neatly next to each other on a chopping board. Cut off the green(er) and tougher leaves and discard or put them aside for another recipe. Chop the light green and white leek stalks into 4 even pieces. Then wash the leeks thoroughly (sand between your teeth while eating is most unpleasant and unappetizing). Drain them for a few minutes.
- Transfer the leek stalks back onto the chopping board and cut them all lengthwise. Make sure the layers of leek stay into place.
- Heat a bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan (one you can put in the oven) over medium heat. Season lightly with pepper and salt. Add the leeks cut side down and then turn the heat up high. Push the leeks back into place using a spatula if they start to move because of the heat. Brown the leeks for 3 minutes.
In the meantime warm the vegetable stock over medium heat and add the chopped garlic. After 3 minutes turn the leeks using 2 forks. They should be browned a little. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the warm vegetable stock and garlic. Then season with a little bit of pepper.
- Put the pan in a preheated oven at 356°F (180°C) for 40 minutes. Regularly check if the leeks need an extra splash of water to prevent them from burning. Turn off the heat but let the leeks rest in the hot oven for another 20 minutes. Carefully remove the pan (watch out, it’s hot!).
- Transfer the braised leeks onto a clean plate. Sprinkle with a last pinch of salt and extra olive oil. Serve.