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Melted leeks with cashews recipe

Melted leeks with cashews recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes
  • Leek side dishes

Very slow cooking, gentle stirring and adding ingredients bit by bit, allows the leeks to release liquid slowly, "melting" in the process. The cashew nuts add a marvelous dimension to this classic French side dish.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 20g margarine or olive oil
  • 1 leek, both white and green parts, cut into rounds
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 handful chopped cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 generous teaspoons ground cashews
  • 200ml warm water
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried coriander
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • tamari soy sauce (optional)

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:35min

  1. Heat the margarine or olive oil in a casserole over low heat, and wilt the leeks with a little salt and pepper. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the carrots, chopped cashew nuts and garlic. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of the ground cashew nuts. Stir well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the warm water and 1 more teaspoon of the ground cashew nuts. Stir and bring to the boil.
  5. Stir in the cayenne pepper and paprika. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of ground cashew nuts. Stir and taste; adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and tamari soya sauce (if using).


If the ground cashews are too solid or compact, you can dilute them in a bowl with a small amount of water.

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Creamed leeks

I was making Paula Wolfert’s straw potato cakes stuffed with braised leeks for a dinner party one night when the giant pancake, which had always been so reliable, shattered into a dozen pieces when I tried to flip it in the pan. The crisp, brown shards would not go back together. In a panic, I served the stuffing by itself as a side course. And the dish of plain, rich creamed leeks zapped with quite a lot of freshly ground pepper turned out to be more popular with my friends than the more complicated version ever had been. I think the slight sweetness and the autumnal flavor fits perfectly in a Thanksgiving dinner, halfway between a vegetable and a condiment, right in the place where some of my fancy acquaintances like to serve elaborately prepared pearl onions. Some Thanksgivings I like the leeks even more than I do the well-garlicked string beans and the caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Trim and discard the roots and dark-green parts from each leek. Halve each leek lengthwise and wash well under running water, fanning the layers and making sure to rinse off every hidden bit of sand. Slice the leeks finely crosswise – there should be 8 to 10 cups.

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat – it will be more than you think you need. Stir in the leeks and a pinch or two of salt. After a couple of minutes, stir in the rest of the butter.

Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 20 minutes – the leeks will have all but melted. Do not let them brown.

Stir in the cream, increase the heat to medium and gently simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened.

Braised leeks

Sometimes a vegetable perfectly matches its true season, bestowed upon us from plant or earth like a metaphor. After the solemn cold of winter, when farmers market stalls seem to rescind their promises, leeks emerge from the earth, dirt-clad and single-minded, as vertical as hope.

Without the raw force of an onion or the hollow delicacy of a bouquet of chives, leeks rely on subtlety and fortitude. A leek is by its nature a patient vegetable. Slow-growing underground, able to bide its time once out of it, a leek can also hold up to myriad cooking techniques, as if the very patience that held it through the slow winter has become alloyed in the leek’s own concentric rings.

Serene, subtly aromatic, almost cool to the touch, a leek can be a revelation in the kitchen, with a wealth of nuanced flavor that belies its humble appearance.

Yet the leek, more than most other vegetables, clings to the earth that engenders it, as if reluctant to be fully separated from its origins. Cut through a leek, particularly a mature one, and you’ll find, shot through the ringed layers, a residue of the dirt and sand in which it grew, like the footprint of a creation myth.

Leeks are often purposely grown in little hills, individual archeological tells that are mounded by farmers to increase the proportion of white stem to green leaf. The dirt or sand (leeks are often grown in particularly sandy dirt or even outright sand) becomes embedded within the layers of the leek as it grows. This accounts for the need to soak leeks thoroughly before you cook them.

If the stubborn, earth-shot quality of a leek is part of its appeal -- a quiet reminder of the necessary proximity of food to farm -- the leek’s leaves also have a story to tell. V-shaped, they rise out of the roots like folded sheaths, growing darker the farther they get from home -- a tangible buffer between pale roots and the sunlit world.

Absolved from the earth, washed clean and shorn from the blue-green tresses of its leaves, a leek is ready for transformation.

Cooking a leek is not like taming an onion or preserving the delicate ephemerality of a handful of fresh herbs or greens. It’s about capturing the essence of a vegetable that contains equal parts resilience and grace.

A bowlful of steamed mussels becomes extraordinary when married with leeks. Cut in thin strips and sauteed in butter, the leeks give structure to the winey broth as well as a hint of color -- the leeks on the small black mussels are like thick brush strokes of lime green on obsidian. The dish distills a leek’s brightest nature.

Blanched and minced into a thick pate shot through with fresh ginger, vinegar and chives, leeks showcase their cooler qualities, becoming smoother and more refined. Or seared and then braised in the oven in broth laced with thyme and shallots, they demonstrate profound earthiness.

After a good braise, a leek develops warm, caramel notes, becoming buttery and rich and aromatic. Its flavor doesn’t dissipate it reaches its full potential. Like an early spring day that can shift in an hour from pallid reticence to honeyed vigor, a leek is not mercurial but capable of sudden moments of revelation.

It’s no wonder Shakespeare chose the leek as a symbol of his emerging young soldier-king in “Henry V.” We’re told that as a Welshman, Henry wears the leek for a “memorable honour” on St. Davy’s Day -- which is, fittingly for a late winter vegetable, the first of March.

Following Henry’s improbable underdog victory over the French at Agincourt, Shakespeare pauses not to give the king another ceremonious soliloquy, but to allow the modest Welsh Capt. Fluellen to give a speech about leeks.

Buckwheat Risotto with Mushrooms and Leeks

We could talk about how I had the meal of a lifetime last Thursday at Blue Hill Stone Barns and tried things like plankton (too fishy and ocean tasting for me), fried pigs ears (omg, the best thing on this planet) and venison tongue (not my thing at all) among 30 something plates of food with the best service I&rsquove ever encountered (although when you&rsquore paying close to a mortgage payment for dinner, it damn well better be).

We could talk about how I cooked a 20 pound ham yesterday so we can chat about how to use up all those ham leftovers for Easter you&rsquore gonna have later this week and how there&rsquos barely an inch of free space in my fridge now because of it. Ham for daysssssss.

Or, we could talk about how I turn 32 today.

But I&rsquod rather not because I&rsquom pretending it&rsquos not actually happening.

So let&rsquos talk about risotto instead.

It took some courage to buy these buckwheat groats because last time I bought buckwheat in bulk, I got a beetle infestation in my pantry that originated in the bag of buckwheat. Outside of the moth/worm infestation I had one other time (also from bulk food buying, great track record, huh?), it was the grossest experience of my life and I spent an entire day throwing out food and cleaning shelves. So this time, I bought a small amount, ground most of it into flour immediately and decided to use the remaining groats asap to avoid any lurking infestations.

I love the heartiness of buckwheat and it really stands up well in a risotto. It&rsquos remains chewy enough while still tender and pairs really well with the savory mushrooms and leeks that get cooked up in butter and red wine. It also goes deliciously with a side (or 50) of ham.

41 Dutch Oven Recipes That Win Us Over Every Time

Haleem isn’t about eating a lot of meat. Instead, it’s a Pakistani dal, rice, and barley stew flavored with meat. And that bit of meat needs to be bone-in: As the bones simmer, all the collagen, marrow, and connective tissue create a savory, lip-smacking, umami-packed stew. That’s why haleem takes hours to gently simmer until the meat has completely fallen off the bone and the dal and grains nearly disappear into the stew. Use a pressure cooker (such as the Instant Pot) if you have one, which will slash the cook time and turn the whole thing into an easy, mostly hands-off affair.

Leftovers keep perfectly in the freezer, so if you’re cooking this on the stovetop, make the most of your time and double or triple the quantity to store it in the freezer as a gift to your future self.

Winter Vegetable Curry

This is a thick, creamy curry filled with spices &mdash turmeric, cilantro, garam masala and cinnamon &mdash and winter vegetables like carrots, parsnips, onion, winter squash and fresh spinach or kale. The curry can be made several hours ahead of time and heated just before serving. Serve with basmati rice and chutney.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from "Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine," by Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger and 1 tablespoon thinly sliced ginger
  • One 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or splash hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes, canned or fresh
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large carrot or 2 to 3 medium, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 small butternut, delicata or acorn squash, peeled (don’t peel if using delicata), deseeded and cut into 1/-2 inch cubes
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup spinach, Swiss chard or kale, coarsely chopped
  • About 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews, optional


  1. In a medium-large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger (both cuts), and cinnamon stick and stir. Add the turmeric, garam masala, ground cinnamon, cumin and cayenne and cook 1 minute, stirring.
  2. Add the tomatoes, and salt and pepper bring to a low simmer and cook 5 minutes. Add the parsnip, carrot, squash, and potato and stir well cook 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sour cream and water and mix to create a smooth sauce. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. Add the spinach (or kale) and cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Taste for seasoning and serve hot over basmati rice. Scatter with cashews if desired. Serves 4.

Creamy Roasted Asparagus & Leek Soup

How many ways can you use asparagus to create delicious Paleo Diet meals? When we were kids, there were typically two cooking methods: steam until undercooked or steam until overcooked. Neitherwas much of a winner at the supper table. Asparagus has certainly improved its reputation since then and has become not just a favorite, but a necessary staple in the Paleo kitchen.

Our creamy soup recipeturns this nutrient packed veggie into the perfect soup to warm you up on a cool evening. Serve it with a delicious Paleo salad, a side of fruit, and you’ve got an impressive dinner ready to serve!

Author: Lorrie Cordain
Difficulty: Intermediate
Serves: 4

  • 1 c raw cashews (plus enough water to submerge them)
  • 1 c filtered water
  • 1 lb asparagus, washed, ends trimmed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ c minced shallots
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 c no sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 c fresh spinach leaves (packed)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  1. Place cashews in a Mason jar. Add enough water to cover the cashews by about 1 inch. Cover and soak the cashews for at least 2 hours.
  2. Drain and discard the soaking water. Place the cashews in a blender or food processor. Add 1 cup fresh water, and purée until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss asparagus and leeks in 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil until evenly coated.
  4. Spread evenly on a sheet pan. Broil 5-6 minutes, turning with a large spatula half way through cooking process. Remove from oven and set aside ¼ cup of asparagus and leek mixture (for garnish) before proceeding.
  5. In a sauce pan set over medium heat, add remaining coconut oil. When melted, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes or until translucent.
  6. Add the asparagus and leeks back to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Pour in cashew cream, chicken broth, and vinegar. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  7. Stir in spinach, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), carefully purée the soup until smooth. Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with reserved asparagus tips and leeks.

For hundreds of pure Paleo recipes be sure to check out The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook and The Real Paleo Diet Fast and Easy.

Lorrie Cordain co-founded The Paleo Diet alongside her husband, Dr. Loren Cordain.

3 Wild Leek Preserving Techniques

  1. Take your cleaned and prepped wild leeks and put them in your dehydrator at 115 degrees for 4-6 hours until full dry.
  2. You can then crush them by hand or run through your spice grinder to create an amazing wild leek powder that can be added to whatever you’re cooking, in the same way you’d add salt or garlic powder.
  3. A nice touch is to mix your powdered dried leeks with salt and use it as a seasoning salt. So good!

  • 1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 whole small eggplant (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 large leeks, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large celery rib, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, grated on a microplane grater (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3/4 cup dry pearl barley
  • 1 (14-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and patted dry on paper towels
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon marmite, vegemite, or Maggi seasoning
  • 1 cup toasted cashews, pinenuts, or a mix
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2-cups panko-style bread crumbs (see note)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss mushrooms with 1 tablespoon oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Coat eggplant with another tablespoon olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Wrap eggplant with heavy duty aluminum foil. Transfer mushrooms and eggplant to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Scatter thyme over mushrooms. Bake, turning mushrooms and wrapped eggplant occasionally until mushrooms are dark brown and eggplant is completely tender (test with a cake tester or thin skewer), about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, unwrap eggplant, and set aside to cool.

While mushrooms and eggplant roast, heat remaining two tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add leeks and celery and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until completely softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and set aside to cool.

Place barley in a pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Stir once then place over high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until barley is completely tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer cooked barley to a clean kitchen towel or a triple layer of heavy-duty paper towels. Roll towels tightly and press to remove excess moisture. Transfer barley to a large bowl.

Add half of garbanzo beans to the bowl of a food processor along with flour, baking powder, soy sauce, Marmite and half of eggplant (reserve remaining eggplant for another use). Process until a smooth paste forms, scraping down sides as necessary. Transfer mixture to bowl with barley. Pulse remaining chickpeas in food processor and pulse until beans are chopped to about the size of a lentil (5 to 6 short bursts), scraping down sides as necessary. Transfer to bowl with barley mixture. Chop cashews or pinenuts (if using) in the food processor the same way and add to barley mix.

When mushrooms are cool, add to bowl of food processor and pulse until finely chopped but still coarse in texture, about 8 to 10 short pulses. Add to barley mix. When leeks and celery are cool, transfer to food processor. Chop with 8 to 10 short pulses and add to barley mix.

Using bare hands or a spatula, stir together mixture until completely homogenous. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mixture can be refrigerated and stored for up to 5 days at this point or frozen in an airtight freezer bag for up to 3 months.

When Ready To Serve: Add breadcrumbs to mixture and work them in with your hands. Make a sample patty. It should have the texture of ground beef and hold together easily. If not, add water a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Divide mixture into eight patties about 4-inches across and 1/2 an inch thick. Patties must be cooked within 30 minutes of adding breadcrumbs (see note).

To Finish on a Griddle or in a Skillet: Heat three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add four patties and cook without moving until first side is well-browned, about 3 minutes. I like to press a disk of sliced onion into the top side while it cooks. Flip burgers and top with cheese (if desired) and cook until second side is browned and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a toasted bun and serve with condiments as desired.

To Finish on the Grill: Preheat a gas or charcoal grill with a medium-high fire. Rub the grill grates with an oil-soaked paper towel and add the burgers. Cook without moving until well-browned, about four minutes. Flip burgers, top with cheese if desired, and cook on second side until well browned, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to toasted bun and serve.

Champagne Brie Fondue

1 pound whole unsalted cashews
½ cup Champagne Reduction (see recipe)
1 quart heavy cream
½ pound brie
salt & pepper to taste
2 ½ tablespoons golden raisins
1 teaspoon Herb Mix (see recipe)
1 ounce crushed Candied Cashews (see recipe)

Place Champagne Reduction in a sauce pot and add heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Remove from heat and whisk in brie. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then strain through a fine mesh. Place in a serving bowl and top with raisins, herb mix and crushed candied cashews.
Makes – 1 quart

Champagne Reduction
½ cup chopped shallots
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped tarragon
1 bottle (.75 liter) Champagne

Place all ingredients in a sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and reduce liquid to about 1 cup. Strain solids from the liquid.
Makes – 1 cup liquid reduction

Herb Mix
1 pound whole unsalted cashews
4 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme
2 ½ tablespoons fresh chives

Wash herbs well and allow to dry. Fine chop all herbs and combine well. Store in an air tight container with a lid.
Makes – 10 tablespoons

Candied Cashews
1 pound whole unsalted cashews
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
In a bowl whisk together egg white and water. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat the cashews well. Spread out on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees toss every 15 minutes. Cool.
Makes – 1 pound

Disclaimer: All our recipes were originally designed for much larger batch size. This recipe has been reduced – but not tested at
this scale. Please adjust as to your taste and portion size.

©1989-2017 This recipe is property of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants, LLC., and unauthorized commercial use is forbidden.

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