TT Plated: Leeks

Give the stately onion the love it deserves
Tasting Table
See more leek dishes

This time of year, one allium overshadows them all: the ramp.

So we’re employing a different strategy. We’re looking to another member of the onion family to provide our spring cooking with pep: the leek.

And we’re not alone. Chefs prize this stalk for its mellow, sweet flavor and nice way of playing with other ingredients, a characteristic not shared by the overpowering ramp.

We’ve always admired Los Angeles chef Suzanne Goin’s skill with the vegetable; at the new incarnation of her wine bar, A.O.C., she is topping wood-fired focaccia with braised leeks, pancetta and goat cheese (see the recipe) for a perfect weekend lunch dish. For a more breakfast-appropriate option, our Test Kitchen team came up with an ingenious potato-leek hash (see the recipe).

The leek has also taken center stage through the revival of leeks vinaigrette, and we’re especially partial to the version at The Ordinary in Charleston, South Carolina, where chef Mike Lata finishes the dish with a perfect quenelle of caviar.

In Houston, the boundary-pushing chefs at The Pass & Provisions use charred leeks to flavor spaghetti that they toss with broccoli and fresh uni.

Smell ya later, ramps. 

  • Braised leeks top a house-made focaccia at A.O.C in Los Angeles. 

  • The focaccia is also topped with crispy pancetta and goat cheese. (Photo: Aaron Cook)

  • Start the morning with a potato-leek hash, crowned by a fried egg. 

  • At The Ordinary in Charleston, Mike Lata updates leeks vinaigrette, the classic bistro dish, with a quenelle of caviar. 

  • Leeks offer extra flavor to the noodles in this dish of charred leek spaghetti with uni from The Pass & Provisions in Houston. (Photo: Betsy Siegel) 

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AOC 8700 W. 3rd street Los Angeles CA 90048 310-859-9859 The Ordinary 544 King St Charleston SC 29403 843-414-7060 The Pass & Provisions 807 Taft Houston TX 77019 713-628-9020

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