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Braised Leeks with Balsamic Glaze
At Casa Montaña in Valencia, Spain, we tasted leeks poached in olive oil until meltingly soft and finished with a sweet-tart balsamic glaze. This is our re-creation of that delicious side. When shopping for this recipe, look for leeks that are slender, with long white and light green sections, as these are the desirable parts (the dark green tops are too tough for braising). Leeks’ many layers trap sand and dirt, so it’s important to wash them thoroughly before cooking, then dry them well so they brown, rather than steam, in the oil.
pound leeks (see headnote), white and light green parts only, outer layers removed
01Cut the leeks in half lengthwise. Fill a large bowl with water, submerge the leek halves and swish them around to remove the grit between the layers. Pour off the water and repeat until the leeks are clean, then pat dry. Cut the leeks on the diagonal into 2-inch sections, keeping the layers intact as much as possible.