|Wine-Braised Baby Leeks in Crisp Prosciutto|
This is a sort of combination of two of my earlier recipes on this blog, namely Braised Baby Leeks with Halloumi 'Popcorn' & Frizzled Prosciutto, and Wine-Braised Baby Fennel in Crisped Prosciutto.
It's easy to make, and makes a sensational starter for a dinner party - you can braise and wrap the leeks well ahead of time, then flash-fry them at the last minute.
|You can also serve these cold, without crisping up the ham.|
I am crazy about leeks, and what I love about this dish is that it gives this humble vegetable a chance to shine. So often leeks are booted into soups, stews and stocks, and they really deserve a chance in the limelight.
Wine-Braised Baby Leeks in Crisp Prosciutto
24 baby leeks (or enough for 6 people)
½ cup (125 ml) white wine
3 Tbsp (45 ml) water
3 Tbsp (45 ml) good olive oil
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
two cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
salt and milled black pepper
the juice of half a lemon
sunflower oil for frying
12 slices prosciutto, each one cut lengthways to make two ribbons
|I braise my leeks in a heavy wok|
Cover the leeks with a cartouche (a cut-to-size circle of baking paper). If you don't have baking paper, place a lid, at a slight tilt, over the pan. Now turn the heat down to its lowest setting and braise the leeks gently for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are meltingly tender and the liquid has reduced to just a few tablespoons.
If the pan looks as if it's drying out, add a little more water. Turn up the heat again and add the lemon juice. Bubble for just 30 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat. Check the seasoning.
Fish the leeks out of their pan with a slotted spoon and let them drain for a while in a sieve set over a bowl.
|Crisp them up just before serving.|
Serve hot, with a trickling of the pan juices.
Serves 6 as a starter or snack.
- If the leeks are very slim and tightly closed, there's no need to wash their insides, but if they are bigger, and have 'opened' a little, cut a lengthways slice halfway through each leeks and rinse, fanning out the leaves, under cold running water
- If you can't find prosciutto or Parma ham, try this with streaky bacon.
- You don't need necessarily to crisp up the prosciutto - this is also very nice served cold.