Saturday, May 9, 2015
Spring Leeks with a Fishy Twist
Even in deepest winter it is a pleasure to visit Provence's beautiful farmer's markets but now that nature empties its horn of plenty full of fresh spring produce on all those stalls I can hardly contain my excitement. Today's bounty was white asparagus, skinny sweet leeks, the first fat, juicy bulbs of pink garlic, some basil and a huge bunch flat leaf parsley.
So tonight's dinner will be the asparagus. Steamed and served with a little Sauce Hollandaise, new potatoes and a slice of cooked ham. This is the traditional way white asparagus is served in Germany where they know a thing or two about this noble vegetable what with all those acres and acres of asparagus fields that you find all over the country.
After peeling the asparagus (that is the downside if you eat the white instead of the green) I tackled the leeks - just topped and tailed them, washed them thoroughly (they love to hide lots of sand) and very gently poached them for about 5 minutes in some vegetable stock.
Now you have to dry them real well - paper towels are good for this. Then I just melted about 50 g butter and three anchovy fillets, finely chopped up a handful of basil and parsley leaves, added a few generous turns of the peppermill and the juice of half a lemon. Stir all ingredients together and pour over the still warm leeks. Eat toute de suite with a slice of baguette or, if left for later, warm up for about 15 seconds in the microwave or a few minutes in a hot oven. Très, très bon!