Leek 'Noodles' with Créme Fraîche and Hazelnut Oil

From The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider published October 2006..

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 30 min

Yield: 4 servings

Thinly sliced leeks became noodle-like when cooked. Dressed with fine hazelnut oil and créme Fraîche, they make a luxurious side dish, like creamy noodles with leek and hazelnut overtones.

The leeks take very little time to cut into "noodles" and just a few minutes to cook. You can do both steps ahead, and reheat at the last minute with créme Fraîche and the nut oil, making this great for dinner parties.


  • 10 medium leeks
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup créme Fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon roasted hazelnut oil, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1. Trim the roots and tough green tops from the leeks, leaving about 1 inch of pale green. Slice each lengthwise into quarters; then slice each quarter in half again, to make thin strips. Rinse the leeks in several changes of cold water to remove any grit; drain well.
  • 2. Place the leeks in a large heavy skillet; add enough water to come half way up the leeks. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until the leeks are almost tender, about 6 minutes. Add salt, uncover and continue cooking, tossing frequently to separate the strands, until the leeks are very tender, a few minutes longer. Holding the leeks back with the lid, tilt the pan over the sink to let any remaining water drain away.
  • 3. Place the pan of leeks back on the burner over moderate heat, tossing frequently, to let any residual water evaporate, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the créme Fraîche and continue simmering the leeks, tossing them frequently. At first the créme Fraîche will look watery; gradually, it will thicken again to make a luxurious coating on the leeks. Stir in the hazelnut oil and adjust the seasoning, adding freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve at once.
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4 servings
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