Many people dislike leeks, I think possibly because they have only had them boiled. Try them this way – they are meltingly tender and mild in flavour.
Cut off the dark green leaves from the top of the leeks (wash and add to the stock pot or use for making green leek soup). Slit the leeks about halfway down the centre and wash well under cold running water. Slice into 7mm rounds. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan; when it foams, add the sliced leeks and toss gently to coat with butter. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add the water if necessary. Cover with a paper lid and a close-fitting saucepan lid. Reduce the heat and cook very gently for about 20–30 minutes, or until soft and moist. Check and stir every now and then. Serve on a warm dish sprinkled with chopped parsley or chervil.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.