- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Leek rings dry out and crisp beautifully in the oven — reminiscent, in a loose way, of

those french-fried onion rings grandma used for decorating green bean-mushroom soup casseroles. Only better.

Warning: These are addictive as a snack, a nibble with cocktails or as a topping to other dishes, such as omelets, pilafs or, yes, green bean casserole.

You might need to make them often. Store them in a covered container at room temperature, where they will keep for a week or longer.

Leek chips

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium-sized leeks (1½-inch diameter)

Cold water

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large baking tray with foil and coat with the oil.

Remove and discard the dark green leaves from the leeks. Slice off about 1/4-inch from the root end as well. (You’ll want the white and pale green portions only.) Use a very sharp knife to cut the leek into 1/4-inch slices, then transfer them to a large bowl of cold water.

Use your fingers and thumb to separate the slices into rings, then swish the pieces around vigorously to remove any sand or grit that might be hiding between the layers. With your hands or a large slotted spoon, lift the leek rings out of the water and transfer them to a colander in the sink. Drain thoroughly, then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

Distribute the leek rings onto the prepared baking tray and toss to coat with the oil. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. (Note that some rings may be ready to remove at 30 minutes, others may take up to 60 minutes or longer — just remove them as they are done.)

Transfer the chips to a plate, season to taste with a little salt and pepper and serve at room temperature. These taste best within a few hours of being made. Makes about 2 cups.

Mollie Katzen is author of “Moosewood Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press). To contact her, go to www.molliekatzen.com.

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