Leeks are one of my favorite vegetables. They hold a unique space in the vegetable kingdom, straddling the role of allium and as a stand-alone veggie, performing well in both categories.

We generally plant a few hardy varieties and start them indoors in open flats. They start out as grass-like blades, that get a haircut before being individually transplanted out in the field. We dibble individual holes and drop in one plant per hole. The up-front tedium yields long, straight white shafts without the need to hill.

To roast:

Leeks cook down considerably in volume, concentrating their sweet, wild flavor as they soften. Use more volume than you think you need, especially for feeding a crowd.

The ingredients:

  • Good quality, sizeable leeks with long shafts. You want a leek that has been kissed by frost once or twice for heightened sweetness

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea Salt


  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees

  • Clean the leeks: trim the roots & trim the tops so that just the white and light green part remain. Remove the exterior layer and rise from the leek any remaining soil

  • Slice into 3-4” lengths

  • Quarter each piece lengthwise

  • Lay flat on a baking sheet, generously drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt

  • After 20 minutes, toss the leeks and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes

While other veggies mingle well in the roasting pan, I prefer to let leeks stand apart. The flavor of a roasted leek is a simple yet unexpected comfort that deserves its own moment on the palette. It is a great dinner party side dish as it goes well with a variety of mains.