From our 2015 Vegetarian Cooking Class at Toast!

 1 bunch leeks, or 2 fennel bulbs
 1 cup white wine
 1 cup water
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp coriander or celery seeds
 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or paste
 1 bay leaf
 1 tsp whole black peppercorns (if possible, in a small reusable tea bag or piece of cheese cloth tied up so you can easily remove before serving.)
 A few sprigs fresh thyme
for Fried leeks
 1 small leek, white parts only, finely minced
 2 tbsp oil or butter
 1/2 tsp salt

1

If you're using fennel, quarter the bulb and leave the root attached so the pieces don't fall apart. If you're using leeks, use all but one of the leeks for the main braise, and set aside 1 small to medium one for the fried leek garnish.

2

Trim off dark & light green leaves off the leeks and save in your stock freezer bag. You really only want the white and very lightest green parts. Trim the hairy part off the root end and discard. Hold on to the root end and keep it intact while you cut the leek to clean it: holding the root end, stand the leek upright on a cutting board. Starting about 3/4 the way up the leek, slice down in half through the middle. Turn the leek a quarter turn, and slice again all the way down to the cutting board. Fan out leaves and rinse very well in cold water to get rid of any sand or dirt. Repeat for all the leeks (including the leek reserved for garnish).

3

Turn oven to 350. Add leeks and/or fennel to a roasting pan with a lid (can also use aluminum foil). Mix together the rest of the ingredients, and pour into pan on top of vegetables. Cover, and braise for 30 minutes. Remove lid and roast for 10 more minutes.

4

While the leeks and/or fennel are roasting, heat up your oil (to very hot) for making the fried leek garnish. Thinly slice the white part of the small leek (you should have a few tablespoons), and add to the oil. Fry till golden, remove from oil and sprinkle with salt.

5

Keep braised veggies in sauce till ready to serve. If making the day before, cool and store in sauce and reheat slowly over low heat on stove till heated through. If you were able to add the peppercorns in a small reusable tea bag or piece of cheesecloth tied up, remove it before serving. Remove the bay leaf as well. Serve leeks on a platter with a slotted spoon, and add the fried leeks on top.

*Next time I make this, I'll add the peppercorns in a mesh bag, like a disposable tea pouch for easy removal. No one likes biting into a peppercorn. I might also add something for sweetness, like lemon juice or honey. Post if you make it and tweak the recipe!

Ingredients

 1 bunch leeks, or 2 fennel bulbs
 1 cup white wine
 1 cup water
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp coriander or celery seeds
 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or paste
 1 bay leaf
 1 tsp whole black peppercorns (if possible, in a small reusable tea bag or piece of cheese cloth tied up so you can easily remove before serving.)
 A few sprigs fresh thyme
for Fried leeks
 1 small leek, white parts only, finely minced
 2 tbsp oil or butter
 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

1

If you're using fennel, quarter the bulb and leave the root attached so the pieces don't fall apart. If you're using leeks, use all but one of the leeks for the main braise, and set aside 1 small to medium one for the fried leek garnish.

2

Trim off dark & light green leaves off the leeks and save in your stock freezer bag. You really only want the white and very lightest green parts. Trim the hairy part off the root end and discard. Hold on to the root end and keep it intact while you cut the leek to clean it: holding the root end, stand the leek upright on a cutting board. Starting about 3/4 the way up the leek, slice down in half through the middle. Turn the leek a quarter turn, and slice again all the way down to the cutting board. Fan out leaves and rinse very well in cold water to get rid of any sand or dirt. Repeat for all the leeks (including the leek reserved for garnish).

3

Turn oven to 350. Add leeks and/or fennel to a roasting pan with a lid (can also use aluminum foil). Mix together the rest of the ingredients, and pour into pan on top of vegetables. Cover, and braise for 30 minutes. Remove lid and roast for 10 more minutes.

4

While the leeks and/or fennel are roasting, heat up your oil (to very hot) for making the fried leek garnish. Thinly slice the white part of the small leek (you should have a few tablespoons), and add to the oil. Fry till golden, remove from oil and sprinkle with salt.

5

Keep braised veggies in sauce till ready to serve. If making the day before, cool and store in sauce and reheat slowly over low heat on stove till heated through. If you were able to add the peppercorns in a small reusable tea bag or piece of cheesecloth tied up, remove it before serving. Remove the bay leaf as well. Serve leeks on a platter with a slotted spoon, and add the fried leeks on top.

Toast’s Oven-Braised Leeks or Fennel

2 Comments

  1. ELZ on February 14, 2017 at 3:34 am

    This recipe is magnificent. I used both leek and fennel with finely ground black pepper instead of the peppercorns and a squeeze of fresh lemon after I took the foil off. I baked it 30 final minutes instead of 10. Everything else was just as the directions said. Silky, delicious, comforting!

  2. ELZ on February 14, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Also, to add to my previous review…the fried leeks elevate this to a company dish. Celery seed was great.

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