Leeks Two Ways with Wild Mushrooms
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 12
The leek, like its relatives onion and garlic, is generally used to flavor other foods. José Andrés feels this is a mistake. "Listen to me: Leek is a vegetable," he says. "It can be the center of a dish." Here, he cooks leeks until tender, then pairs them with trumpet mushrooms for a sensational side dish.
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- 1/4 ounce dried black trumpet mushrooms
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 12 medium leeks, halved crosswise where they start to become green, green tops thoroughly cleaned
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon small mint leaves
- Put the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the hot water. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Lift the mushrooms out of the water and rinse. Cut any large mushrooms in half lengthwise.
- Cut the white of each leek crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices; keep the rings intact. Thinly slice enough leek greens to make 1/2 cup; reserve the rest for another use.
- In a small saucepan of simmering water, cook the leek greens for 1 minute; drain well. In a small skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Add the leek greens and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute, stirring. Transfer the greens to a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth; season the puree with salt.
- In a large, deep skillet, bring 6 cups of water to a boil with the thyme and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and add the sliced leeks. Simmer over moderately low heat until tender, 12 minutes. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. With a slotted spoon, transfer the leeks to the paper towels to drain; pat dry.
- In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and toss over moderately high heat until warmed through, about 1 minute.
- Dollop the pureed leek greens onto a platter. Arrange the leeks on the platter and spoon the vinaigrette on top. Scatter with the mushrooms and mint and serve.