The last job I had from our garden is taking care of all the leeks. Dave pulled them last fall and piled them in the bottom of the garage fridge. I was gone for work, then surgery and I just wasn't feeling like dealing with them, but that is one beauty of leeks; they stay in the garden until the last minute and they keep in a cool dark place for a long time.
But now it was time. I needed to do something with them before they started to spoil. I used some in a few recipes, but I needed to take care of all of them now.
I made leek confit. You cook the leeks in butter and a little salt until they are reduced and the flavor is concentrated. It takes some time but the hardest part of this is cutting the leeks. It turned out I had 3 (18 cups) batches of leek confit to make, so it was an all-morning project, with most of that time reading cookbooks, scrolling through Facebook, and complaining to Dave how long it takes!
Now I have frozen containers of deliciousness to use in omelets and quiche, on sandwiches, I love it on top of cream cheese as part of a cheese plate or a little nibble with a cocktail, warmed and used to top chicken, pork, or beef, added to chicken soup, potato and leek soup, or added to a vegetable or rice dish to add an subtle layer of extra flavor.
I don't think this is really a "recipe" and it is very flexible. The leeks cook down to a jammy sweetness. It keeps in the fridge for a week, but I bet it won't last that long. I freeze this in 2 cup containers and when I pull one out to use, any left-over is gobbled up on Dave's lunch, (usually he eats left-overs from dinner the night before).
Make sure you wash your leeks well, they are known to be gritty. Swish them around in water after you cut them and pull the leeks up out of the water after they sit for a few minutes, leaving the grit at the bottom of the bowl. I use my salad spinner to get as much water out as possible, but a bit of dampness helps them cook, so don't dry them completely. If you wash them ahead of time and they are totally dry, add a couple tablespoons of water to the leeks when you start to cook them. It will evaporate in the end of cooking.
1/4 cup butter
6-7 cups leeks, cut into 1/4 inch half moon slices and washed well (about 4 very large or 5-6 medium)
use the white and light green part only
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 Tbsp. water, if needed
Melt butter, over medium-low heat, in a large, heavy bottomed pot or skillet. Add leeks and salt (water if needed). Add leeks and stir to coat with butter. Cover pot and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and cook 5 minutes more or until the liquid is evaporated. Leeks should have a thick, almost jammy consistency. Cool and store in refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for 6 months.
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December 4, 2017 Sunrise 10:28 am Sunset 2:53 pm Temp. H 26/ L16°F