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
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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