Seasonal local food recipe No 89: Leeks with red wine

or ‘Poireaux au vin rouge’ – a recipe from Elizabeth David’s classic French Provincial Cooking. She explains that, ‘Unexpectedly, perhaps, when wine is to be used in the cooking of leeks, the French always use red rather than white wine … It is a dish of particularly beautiful appearance, with the green of the leeks and the dark purple of the wine sauce.’

Preparation and cooking: 20 minutes

500g leeks
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 wineglass of red wine
2 tbsp meat or vegetable stock (or water)

Choose smallish leeks if possible, all of a size. Having cut them down almost to the white part and cleaned them thoroughly, put them side by side in a frying pan in which you have heated the olive oil. As soon as they have taken colour on one side, turn them over. Season with very little salt. Pour over the wine (look out for the spluttering), let it bubble, add the stock or water, cover the pan and cook at a moderate pace for 7 to 10 minutes, turning the leeks over once during the process. They are done when a skewer pierces the root end quite easily. Put the leeks in a shallow dish, cook the sauce another few seconds until reduced and pour it over the leeks.

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