Caroline Cooks

A modest documentation of my culinary exploits.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Roasted leeks with apple

My nonna makes pizzelles the true Italian way, with strong anise oil. As a result, her house is permanently scented with a lingering anise aroma. I'm always eager to cook with anise because the smell recreates the warm, familiar atmosphere of Nonna's house in my tiny apartment 160 miles away.

While I was looking up ideas for leeks a couple days ago, I came across a recipe from The Philosopher's Kitchen that involves roasting leeks and apple with honey and anise seed. It sounded like a divine combination, if not for the taste than at least for the scent of the oniony leeks mellowed out by the sweet honey and punctuated by the sweet yet pungent anise seed. Of course, I added extra anise seeds just for good measure.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp anise seeds
3 large leeks
1 crisp apple, cored & sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Whisk together the oil, wine, marjoram, and anise seeds in a medium baking pan until combined. Quarter the leeks and slice into 2-inch pieces. Add the leeks and apple to the dressing, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring gently about every 10 minutes, until the leeks are golden and the apple is soft. Serve immediately.


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