Cooking the leeks in this way gently softens them without colouring, and releases their allium flavour into the oil. Blending the confit leeks with cream creates a lovely sauce to bring the whole dish together, which could easily stand as a substitute for gravy alongside your choice of protein. If you can’t find puy lentils, then swap them out for other lentils, such as green or beluga. Serve this dish warm or at room temperature, and eat alongside some roasted potatoes, if you like.
Recipe from OTK Extra Good Things
1 hr 50 min
1kg leeks, trimmed, cut into 2cm-thick rounds (white and light green parts only) (620g)
10 garlic cloves, peeled
10g thyme sprigs
200ml olive oil
150g dried puy lentils, washed
60ml lemon juice (from 2–3 lemons)
5g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
5g dill leaves, roughly chopped
5g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
salt and black pepper
100g cooked confit leeks and 5 confit garlic cloves (see above)
100ml double cream 3⁄4 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan.
2. Soak the cut leek rounds in a large bowl of water to get rid of any excess grit. Drain, then pat dry, being sure to keep the rounds intact.
3. Put the leeks, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper into a baking dish roughly 30cm x 20cm in size. Mix gently to combine, then pour over the oil. Arrange the leeks so they are cut side up, then cover tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently turn the leeks over. Cover again with foil and return to the oven for 35 minutes more, until completely softened. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature up to 180°C fan.
4. Meanwhile, cook the lentils in plenty of boiling water for 12–15 minutes, or until tender but not at all mushy. Drain well and set aside.
5. When ready, remove the confit leeks from the oven and transfer 100g of the cooked leeks plus five garlic cloves to a bowl. Add the lentils to the remaining leeks in the baking dish along with 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and mix gently to combine. Cover again with the foil and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and leave to settle for 10 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs.
6. While the lentils are in the oven, make the leek cream. Add the measured-out leeks and garlic to a food processor along with the cream, mustard, lemon juice and 1⁄8 teaspoon of salt, and blitz until smooth.
7. When ready, stir the 60ml of lemon juice and the chopped herbs into the lentil and leek mixture. Transfer to a rimmed platter and serve with the leek cream in a bowl alongside.