braised leeks with dill, parsley and mint


Lindsey Bareham

This hauntingly herby dish, almost a leek vinaigrette, can be served hot, warm or cold. It’s the perfect starting point for one of those mezze-style meals, with roast tomatoes, soft-boiled eggs, bruschetta and ham, but goes with everything from simply cooked fish to roast chicken. I’m happy with a grilled cherry tomato salad, a bowl of black olives, and plenty of crusty bread and butter to mop up the copious juices.

serves 2-4, prep 20 min, cook 40 min

4 trimmed leeks
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
2 tbsp finely chopped dill
4 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
125ml fruity olive oil

Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Remove the outer tough leaves of the leeks and cut to the point where the green turns a paler colour. Trim the root but quarter lengthways with the root holding the pieces together. Wash well holding the leeks so they don’t unfurl, to remove any dirt hidden between the layers. Arrange top to tail in a shallow baking dish or casserole that can hold them in a single layer.

Season lavishly with salt and black pepper and sprinkle the herbs between and over the top. Pour in the olive oil and 200ml boiling water. Cover the dish, either with a lid or a sheet of tin foil. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 min until the leeks are completely tender. Serve immediately or leave to cool in the dish.