Roasted leeks become wonderfully caramelized and have a mellow, almost sweet flavor. They make a wonderful side dish to meats and fish.
I made this leek recipe for the first time a couple of months ago. We were all smitten with this tasty dish, and I have made it several times since.
The ingredients you’ll need for making roasted leeks
You’ll only need five simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
- Fresh leeks
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Grated Parmesan
- Red pepper flakes
How to cook leeks
I like to bake them in the oven. It’s an easy cooking method, and it makes the leeks wonderfully caramelized.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for cooking leeks:
- Start by trimming them. Then cut them in half lengthwise, rinse and dry.
- Coat the leeks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast them for 20 minutes at 425°F.
- Sprinkle with parmesan and red pepper flakes, and bake for 10 more minutes.
What do leeks taste like?
Leeks look like oversized green onions. When raw, their flavor resembles the flavor of shallots, although they are sweeter and more delicate.
Roasting mellows their onion flavor, caramelizes them, and brings out their natural sweetness. So roasted leeks taste very different than raw ones – just like baked onions are very different than raw.
The parmesan adds great flavor
Unless you can’t do dairy, I highly suggest that you do use parmesan in this leeks recipe. It adds tons of flavor and goes really nicely with their shallot-like flavor.
Is this a healthy recipe?
As for the parmesan, current research says that cheese is pretty much harmless for most healthy people, and possibly even beneficial.
Some people do need to limit saturated fat. But a serving of this recipe only has 2 grams of these fats, so I think it’s acceptable. In any event, you can certainly omit the parmesan if you can’t have cheese.
How to serve roasted leeks?
I often serve them with fish. They make a great side dish to baked catfish. And when you make these two dishes together, you can keep the oven at 425°F for both, baking the fish just 5 minutes longer.
What about leftovers?
If you have leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
- 6 leeks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Trim the hairy bottom of the white part of the leeks. Trim the dark greens, leaving the white and light green part only.
- Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, then rinse them well (there’s often dirt trapped in the tops) and dry. Arrange in a glass baking dish, cut side down.
- Drizzle the leeks with the olive oil and use your hands to thoroughly coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast 20 minutes. Remove from oven, turn so that cut side is up, sprinkle with the Parmesan and pepper flakes, then continue roasting until fork-tender and golden brown, 10 more minutes.