This easy leeks recipe is my take on a Turkish dish called zeytinyağlı pırasa, where tender leeks and carrots are braised in a flavorful olive oil sauce with garlic. All you need alongside this leeks recipe is a wedge of lemon and a few slices of crusty, rustic bread to sop up the delicious olive oil sauce. But these braised leeks are also light enough to serve with some baked fish or grilled chicken. Best served cold or at room temperature.
In a medium saucepan heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the leeks, carrots, and garlic and season with kosher salt, black pepper, and the spices. Toss around and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring regularly as needed until the leeks and carrots soften just a bit.
Add 2 cups of water, the rice, and lemon juice. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and the vegetables are fully tender.
Let the leeks and carrots cool down to room temperature, then stir in the fresh parsley, lemon zest, and another good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Variations - Grated tomato will add a little more sauciness to the braised leeks, as well as delicious umami. Some recipes use a splash of red wine vinegar in addition to lemon juice for a little extra acidity. I like to keep these braised leeks vegan, but, If you like, you can add some lean ground beef or chopped up leftover chicken.
How to serve braised leeks - All you need is a wedge of lemon and a few slices of crusty, rustic bread to sop up the delicious olive oil sauce. But it is also light enough to serve with some baked fish or grilled chicken.
Leftovers and storage - Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Since these leeks in olive oil taste better at room temperature (and best when cold), you can enjoy it straight out of the fridge! No need to reheat.