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Cooking

3 easy recipes for autumn greens

Fall-harvested leeks are arriving in farmers’ markets. Use them in these three easy recipes.

Elegant Leeks Vinaigrette is pretty enough to serve at a dinner party.

Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

Elegant Leeks Vinaigrette is pretty enough to serve at a dinner party.

TIP Cut leeks lengthwise, but not all the way through the root end, then clean under running water.

 

LEEKS VINAIGRETTE WITH TOMATOES AND OLIVES

Serves 6

Continue reading below

Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 shallot, minced

Salt and pepper

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 pounds leeks (about 6 medium), white and light green parts, quartered lengthwise

½ cup Kalamata or Nicoise olives, pitted and roughly chopped

¾ cup grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

In a small nonreactive bowl, mix the vinegar, mustard, shallot, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste, then whisk in the oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, if necessary. Smear about 1½ tablespoons dressing on a serving platter and set aside.

Steam the leeks until very tender, about 8 minutes. Blot leeks dry and arrange on the platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with the remaining dressing, and set aside to cool briefly. (Or, if desired, refrigerate the leeks to chill slightly, about 30 minutes.) Top the leeks with olives and tomatoes, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

TURKISH-STYLE LEEKS WITH CARROTS AND RICE

Serves 6

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

Salt and pepper

3 carrots, peeled and bias-sliced

2½ pounds leeks (about 5 medium), white and light green parts, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

cup low-sodium chicken broth or water

¼ teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons long-grain white rice, rinsed

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

1½ tablespoons minced fresh dill

In a straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt, adjust heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 15 minutes. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Add the leeks and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until softened, another 10 minutes. Add the broth or water and sugar, adjust heat to medium-high, and bring to a strong simmer. Stir in the rice and ½ teaspoon salt, adjust heat to very low, cover, and simmer (without lifting the cover) for 25 minutes. Remove cover, stir mixture, replace cover, and set aside off heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and dill, adjust seasoning with additional salt, if necessary, and pepper to taste, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

  

TIP: Cut leeks lengthwise, but not all the way through the root end, then clean under running water.

PASTA WITH CREAMY LEEKS AND SMOKED MUSSELS

Serves 4

I love the plump smoked mussels from Ducktrap River of Maine (I buy them at Whole Foods), but of course you can use canned.

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 pounds leeks (about 6 medium), white and light green parts, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces

Salt and black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup dry white wine

¾ cup heavy cream

1 pound short and stubby or tubular-shaped pasta

6 ounces smoked mussels

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the leeks and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and continue to cook, stirring, until thickened slightly, about 3 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and immediately return it to the pot. Add the leek mixture and the mussels (and any packing oil) to the pasta, toss to combine well, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, adding enough cooking water to loosen the sauce and help it distribute evenly, if necessary. Add most of the parsley and toss to distribute. Taste the pasta and adjust the seasoning, and serve at once, sprinkling each serving with some of the remaining parsley.

Send comments or suggestions to Adam Ried at cooking@globe.com.
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