leeks recipe
Cornmeal Pie with Greens and Leeks Recipe
Prep Time
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
 

This cornmeal pie with greens and leeks recipe is a delightful combination of leafy greens and savory leeks, grated carrots and potatoes, all flavored with rich Turkish chili flakes and fresh mint. 

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Turkish
Servings: 8 as a main course
Calories: 434 kcal
Ingredients
Filling:
  • 3 medium leeks, white and light green parts separated from dark green parts, and washed well
  • 6 cups ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 medium potato, washed (5-6 ounces)
  • 1 pound tender baby greens (spinach, chard, nettles, or beet would work well)
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed or peeled, and grated
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Turkish red pepper flakes*, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint (or 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Bottom Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups fine cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
Top Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups fine cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup boiling water (if needed)
Instructions
  1. Butter or oil a 9"X13"x2" baking dish or pan.

  2. Slice white and light green parts of the well-washed leeks into thin slices. You want 3-4 cups of sliced leeks. Reserve dark green part for another use (they freeze well for broth or stock).

  3. Pour ice water over sliced leeks in a large bowl and set aside. This will give them a milder flavor.

  4. For the bottom crust, combine cornmeal and salt together in a medium bowl. Add olive oil and boiling water and stir, removing lumps. You want the consistency of the mixture to be thick enough to hold a shape. Add more cornmeal or boiling water, each 1 Tablespoon at a time, to get the right consistency. Spread the finished mixture in the bottom of the greased baking dish. Reserve the bowl to make the top crust.

  5. To make the filling, drain the leeks. While still in the colander, sprinkle with salt and massage leeks with your hands until they are softened; this takes about 30 seconds. Squeeze out any excess water and place in a large bowl.

  6. Peel and grate the potato and add to the leeks. Add the greens, carrots, red pepper, black pepper, mint, and olive oil. Toss with your hands, incorporating all the ingredients together. Spread the filling over the prepared bottom crush and scatter small pieces of butter around on top. 

  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  8. For the top crust, combine the cornmeal, salt, and baking powder together in the medium bowl used for the bottom crust. Stir in the melted and cooled butter and yogurt. Add boiling water. You're looking for cake batter consistency, so add more water if necessary. Pour finished batter over the filling, spreading to the edges.  

  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, with some crusty darker bits at the edges. A knife should come out clean when inserted. Rest the pie for 10 minutes before serving. 

Recipe Notes
If you don't have Turkish red pepper flakes, crushed red pepper can be used, but it can be much spicier. Also try using smoked paprika for a different flavor profile.