Leeks are the easiest-to-get-along-with members of the onion family. They’re deliciously sweet, mildly pungent and simple to prepare. In this recipe they’re paired with apples and thyme. They easily fill Half Your Plate with flavour so you can fill the other half with any simple pork, chicken or fish dish!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of vegetable oil
2 large leeks
2 of your favourite apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of honey
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of cider, red or white vinegar
3 or 4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves and tender stems minced
1/2 teaspoon (5 mL) of salt
Lots of freshly ground pepper
Prepare the leeks. Trim off any dark green parts near their tops and any roots near the bottom. Cut the remainder in half lengthwise then continue cutting lengthwise into long, thin, bite sized pieces. If you discover any sand or grit along the way, rinse the works well in a colander or strainer until clean. Drain well.
Splash the oil into a large heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and sauté, without browning, until tender and fragrant, 5 minutes or so. Add the apples and continue until they too are soft and fragrant, another 5 minutes or so. Add the honey, vinegar and thyme and continue just long enough to heat the works through.
Leeks are related to onions, scallions, shallots, garlic and chives so they enjoy a certain pungency. They’re not quite as strong as other onions though so they’re very easy to prepare. At the store look for firm, bright specimens with their tiny roots still attached. At home keep them tightly wrapped in your refrigerator.
© Chef Michael Smith – #HalfYourPlate
Running out of time to cook vegetables? You can make this delicious dish in the time it takes you to boil water and cook pasta. You just need a few delicious timesavers. Tricks like a simple pesto built on the snappy flavour of arugula or the convenience of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. And it doesn’t take long to melt bell peppers. Save time and fill Half Your Plate with vegetables!
You can fill more than Half Your Plate and create your own salad with this recipe. Chefs know that the art and craft of filling a salad bowl is one of the greatest expressions of the culinary arts. Home cooks love how easy it is to cram the salad bowl with healthy flavours. Everyone enjoys emptying the bowl. You’ll love knowing you have plenty of delicious dressing leftover for the next salad and nothing beats impressing yourself in your own kitchen! This one was custom created by Honorable Lawrence MacAulay with Chef Michael Smith’s coaching!