When it comes to grocery shopping, I am a grocer’s dream. They might as well stamp a gigantic “Impulse Buyer!” stamp on my forehead and call it a day. Display cases of fresh breads and cheeses just call to me. The produce department’s bright and beautiful wares are always beckoning to me. And the butcher’s station … Oh, what a life.
It was an impulse buy that brought these leeks home with me a few weeks back … only to be promptly forgotten. I’d really wanted to eat some, but it didn’t happen. Though I had the best of intentions of using them right away, I didn’t actually get to it until today. Thankfully, they were still pretty fresh (minus an outer leaf or two). (Yes, if you see yucky outer leaves, you can pull them off and wash and cut the leeks as usual for use.Within reason.)
But it is somewhat good that I waited on these because this morning, while playing around with ideas, I came up with this delightful Roasted Leeks and Garlic Spread. It’s amazing — especially on freshly baked bread (I used Pillsbury Simply French Bread).
The spread takes a little more than 20 minutes to bread and is perfect for everything from picnic to date. Heck, it would even make an awesome addition to the standard brunch fare too. Maybe even with a poached egg on top?
What’s amazing in this dish is how sweet the leeks and garlic get while roasting them in the oven. With a touch of olive oil and a bit of the moisture from soaking the leeks, the leeks and garlic are rendered tender enough to puree and so perfectly sweet. The garlic adds its own sweet savoriness to the mix too. Once it’s all done and pureed, slather it on the bread and sprinkle it with some freshly grated Italian cheese and a sprinkle of your very favorite finishing salt. One bite and you will be hooked.
No, really. I mean it.
Would you serve this for brunch?
- 1 bunch leeks (3-4), white and light green parts only
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Soak the leeks for at least 30 minutes in a bowl of water. Meanwhile, start preheating the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and pile the leeks on, leaving them somewhat wet. Add the garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Roast the leek for 20 minutes in the hot oven. Once they are done, and tender, transfer the whole mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth.
- To use: Spread on warm, crusty bread and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and sprinkle of your favorite finishing salt.