Pitifully, the Greeks, of which I am one, have not honored the leek to the extent that the Welsh have. However, Greeks have found delightful ways in which to cook leeks. Leeks are plentiful in winter. They are tolerant of cold weather and can be harvested even when temperatures drop near 0° C. So the winter months find us Greeks using leeks in lots of recipes. One of the simplest to make is prasorizo, which means leeks and rice. Believe me, it's delicious!
- 3 lbs leeks
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup rice
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
Clean and prepare the leeks for cooking. Cut off the root end and discard the rough green leaves. Save the white and light green part of the leek. Cut it in half lenghwise, and rinse each half several times under cold running water. This method ensures that the soil and sand that has remained between the leaves is washed off. Drain and cut the leeks into one inch pieces.
In a heavy pot heat the olive oil and saute the onion, celery and garlic. Cook about five minutes, stirring, until the onions are translucent.
Add the leeks and stir well, saute for about two minutes, add the chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 35 minutes. The leeks should be covered with liquid during cooking. If necessary add more chicken broth, or add water if you prefer. After about 35 minutes, stir in the rice, parsley, dill, and lemon juice.
Cook for about 30 minutes more, until the rice is done and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve while still hot, and offer lemon wedges for those who wish to use more lemon juice. Better yet, you can garnish each plate of prasoriso with lemon slices.