My experience with leeks,a vegetable I've always considered to be just a giant scallion, was limited to potato and leek soup until last night. I never think to buy leeks when I'm at the farmer's market, and when recipes call for leeks, I'll often cheat and substitute onion or scallion.
Yesterday at the farmer's market, I was looking for a good vegetable alternative for Sunday night's dinner with a few close friends and I saw the most attractive leeks. I had planned a roast chicken accompanied by rosemary potatoes, and thought that maybe roasted leeks would work. I consulted a number of difference recipe sites for the leek recipe, but in the end, I constructed my own.
Roasted Leeks Drizzled with Honey-Mustard Sauce
6 medium-sized leeks
1 cup rich mushroom broth (you can substitute any other kind of stock)
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
salt & pepper
Wash leeks thoroughly! Especially if you've gotten your leeks directly from the farm, they will have a substantial amount of sand in the crevices of the skin. I would suggest chopping off a bit of the root end and most of the green (so that the leeks will fit in your roasting pan), then soaking them in cold water. Then, cut them in half lengthwise and wash again. Arrange in a baking pan coated with olive oil, cut side up. Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Turn the seasoned leeks over, cut side down; season again. Pop in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees and monitor. You may need to add a little bit of water to the bottom of the pan to keep the leeks moist.
While the leeks are roasting, make the sauce by adding all of the remaining ingredients to the broth. Heat to a boil and then turn the mixture down, stirring frequently as the sauce thickens.
Serve the leeks alongside your favorite locally-produced poultry and allow your guests to drizzle the mustard sauce over meat and leek alike.