One of our favorite things to do on Saturday mornings is visit our local farmers market. We are lucky that our neighborhood market continues indoors throughout the winter. While the produce options are much more limited this time of year, leeks seem to be a constant offering.
If you aren’t familiar with leeks, they are those vegetables that look like over-sized scallions. Leeks are a member of the Allium vegetable family which also includes onions and garlic. They are packed with phytonutrients and are a good source of Vitamins A, K, C and folate. Leeks have a unique flavor that is less harsh than onions, shallots and scallions which is why I enjoy them so much.
These leek fritters are adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Smitten Kitchen. They are really versatile and can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as an appetizer. We love them as a brunch option paired with a fried egg and simple green salad. If you have leftovers, they reheat in the oven pretty well but I like them better the first day.
- 3 large leeks
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- For Serving:
- Fried eggs
- Spring mix
- Trim the leeks, leaving only the white and pale green parts. Halve them lengthwise and slice them into ¼ inch strips.
- Place the sliced leeks into a large bowl of cold water. Use your hands to agitate the leeks and dislodge any dirt or sand that may be clinging to them.
- Scoop the leeks out of the water with a slotted spoon and place in a pot of boiling water. Cook them for 3-4 minutes until they are slightly softened. Drain well and wring them out in a dish towel to remove the extra water.
- In a large bowl, combine the leeks and green onions.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the leek mixture. Stir in the egg and mix until evenly coated.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place a foil lined baking sheet inside.
- Place a few paper towels on a large plate and set aside.
- In a large heavy skillet, like a cast iron pan, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat.
- Form small patties with the leek mixture and carefully drop into the skillet. Cook the leek fritters until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
- Place cooked fritters on the paper towel lined plate to help absorb any extra oil. Then transfer them into the warm oven while you make the remaining fritters.
- Serve with a fried egg and handful of greens.