This is a must try Turkish leek recipe! There are different versions of this dish, but this one is served as a main course and it is served hot. There is another Turkish leek recipe that is served as a side dish and it is served cold. This one is a hearty meal often served during the fall and winter months.
If you have never had leeks before, they are an interesting vegetable resembling a very large green onion. Not only do they look like an onion, they do have an onion taste, but it's very mild.
Leeks have lot of layers and will need to wash them thoroughly as grit gets in between the layers.
The edible portion of the leek are the white and light green parts. You will want to chop off the tip and any hard green stems. You may see some recipes that never include the green stem, but I always use the softer portions. I hate to throw out any part that is edible.
To Serve: Eat as a stew with crusty bread or serve on top of rice.
To prepare this dish, start by washing and preparing the leeks (see box on the right on how to cut/prepare the leek). There may be different ways people prepare leeks, but what I usually do first is chop off the hard green leaves along with the tip of the leek. Then, I slice the leek in half and cut it about 1 inch in thickness and then prepare to wash them.
To really make sure the leeks are clean, let them soak in water. The grit should fall to the bottom of the sink. To make sure all the grit is out, rinse them under water before putting them in the pot. Once the leeks are clean, in a pot, brown the ground beef. Add the tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the leeks. Depending on your preference, you may want to add a bit more salt and pepper. Add about 2-3 C. of water (you will need to monitor as it should be like a stew rather than a soup; you may need to add water if levels go down during cooking). Cover with a lid. Cook for about 35 minutes or until leeks are soft.
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