Turkish-Style Braised Leeks Recipe
In this Turkish-style braised leeks recipe, called prasa, leeks are combined with extra virgin olive oil, carrots, lemon, and a small amount of white rice for a classic Turkish dish that tastes much more than the sum of its parts.
Leeks are an unsung hero of the vegetable world. They are in the same family as onions and garlic, and have a similar, but milder flavor. They can be substituted for onions, and are a great addition to soups and stews. Use the more tender white and light green parts of the leek in this dish, saving the dark green tougher part of the leek for stock or broth.
Leeks often have dirt hidden in their many layers. To clean them, separate the white and light green parts from the dark green top. Slice the white and light green part in half lengthwise, leaving the root end intact. Using your hands, separate the many layers, and look for dirt. Run leeks under cold water, until the dirt rinses away. You may also soak the leeks in a bowl of cold water–let the sand sink to the bottom of the bowl and then lift the leeks out, leaving the dirt behind.
Traditional Turkish Recipes
A large amount of my vegetable cooking skills come from my Turkish heritage. There is an entire category of dishes in Turkish cuisine called ‘Zeytinyagli’, or ‘With Olive Oil.’ These are basically simple preparations of seasonal vegetables slowly cooked in olive oil. They are simple to prepare and easy to have on hand, as part, or all of, a healthy meal.
Easy Healthy Dinner
Turkish Style Braised Leeks Recipe
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 3 medium leeks
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste
- 3 Tablespoons white rice*
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Finely dice onion. Cut carrot into half moons (in half lengthwise then slice horizontally). Use white and light green parts of leeks only, thoroughly clean, and cut into 1/3 inch rounds.
- Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat and add diced onion, cook until starting to soften. Add carrots and cook until starting to soften. Add leeks and stir for a couple of minutes. Add water, sugar and salt. When the water boils, add rice and lemon juice. Cook, covered, on low heat, until rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- This dish is best served cold, or at room temperature with a squeeze of lemon and a slice of crusty bread.