This recipe for slow cooked baby leeks or 'puerros cocidos' is all about the sweet, soft, melt in the mouth leeks that make perfect hot Spanish tapas.
We first had a version of this in our local village bar a couple of years ago as a tapa where we were served small rounds of super soft leek that almost disappeared on your tongue. They are even more delicious served whole as a side dish or starter. A warming tapa is always welcomed on those colder day and with leeks being cheap and easy to buy and packed with flavour they make a great alternative tapa also suitable for vegetarians. Enjoy!
~ 10 minutes preparation ~ 1 ½ hours cooking ~
8 small leeks (the smaller the better)
6 cloves garlic
2 fresh bay leaves
150ml extra virgin olive oil
150g unsalted butter
250ml white Rioja
Freshly ground black peppercorns
Method: (serves 4-6)
1. Chop off the green tops of the leeks, then remove as much of the outer layers as necessary so you are left with the neat white inner leeks. Wash and pat dry.
2. Peel the garlic and slice. Heat the olive oil in a large earthenware cazuela or oven proof dish and gently fry the garlic for 3-4 minutes until golden.
3. Add the leeks to the cazuela in one layer and add the bayleaf.
4. Add the butter, wine, a pinch of salt and enough hot water to just cover the leeks.
5. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to its lowest setting. Cover and cook gently for 50-60 minutes until the leeks are very soft, all the way to the centre.
6. Remove the leeks set aside and keep warm.
7. Turn up the heat under the cazuela and cook the liquid for 15 minutes.
8. Transfer the leeks to a deep serving plate, pour over the reduced sauce and season again with salt and pepper.