I’m always on the hunt for easy condiments I can make at home that add a burst of umami flavor to vegetarian dishes. Umami is that all-important flavor that adds the same deep savory, salty oomph to dishes that bacon contributes for the meat eaters at the table.
Over the past three years of being mostly vegetarian, I’ve collected a few favorites – balsamic roasted tomatoes being at the top of the list. But these crispy roasted leeks may give them a run for their money.
I saw a recipe for them in Bon Appétit magazine this month, and modified them just slightly to get them crispier. This concentrates the flavors of both the leeks and salt reminiscent of the browned bits of meat left in a pan after a super-hot searing. But don’t push it too far – leeks burned past the caramelization stage are bitter.
- Whip into yogurt for a savory topping
- Sprinkle over grains or legumes dishes
- Stir into stews
- Toss onto roasted veggies
- Whisk into a vinaigrette
- Fold into mashed sweet potatoes or celery root
Crispy Roasted Leeks
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the leeks in half lengthwise, and wash thoroughly of any dirt and grit. Dry completely and place on the baking sheet, the cut sides facing up. Pour the olive oil over them and lightly sprinkle with salt. Flip them over and rub the excess oil over their backs. Cover with foil and roast for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and flip the leeks back over. Their edges should be toasted crispy while the insides are very tender.
- Chop and store in the refrigerator with any excess oil for up to 2 weeks.