Braised Leeks in Orange-Fennel Dressing
This is an easy way to instantly add taste to a root with a naturally subtle flavor. Want to pair this dish with a white wine that will stand its ground? Try a chenin blanc like Domaine des Baumard Savennieres ($17), which has a lively green apple and citrus aroma. Equally good is the Oregon-produced Bethel Heights Pinot Gris ($13), a white wine with a buttery flavor and hint of toasted nuts.
- 6 leeks (about 3 pounds), trimmed of all but 2 inches of greens
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 lemon, cut in 2 pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 small vine-ripe tomato (5 ounces), seeded and halved crosswise
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Cut the leeks in half lengthwise to within 1 1/2 inches of the root end. Rinse under running water, being careful to rinse out all the sand between layers of leaves.
- Combine the leeks, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, lemon, and bay leaves in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until tender; turn leeks halfway through cooking. Drain and place in a serving bowl just large enough to hold them (11 by 7 inches).
- Meanwhile, combine the orange juice, tomato halves, fennel, pepper, and remaining salt in the same skillet. Boil for 8 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup, pressing down on tomatoes to flatten. Discard the tomato skins. In a blender, process the mixture and oil until smooth. Pour over leeks so that they are almost submerged in juice. (Note: If the leeks are not submerged, place all in food storage bag, push out the air and seal the bag.)
- Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Per serving: 104 kcal cal., 2 g fat (0 g sat. fat), 22 g carb., 2 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 2 g pro., 64 mg calcium, 2 mg iron. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet