Just last week I bought some lovely seasonal leeks from the spray free markets here where we live in Sandgate. We chopped them up and threw them in the roasting pan with our weekly batch cook up of vegetables for the days ahead. I also included some dill that needed to be used and wedges of lemon, which is not unusual for me. What struck me the most when we sat down to eat was how to 'die for' the leeks were with the dill and the lemon. I pretty much decided then and there that this was my next recipe post. I just had to share this with you!
Leeks are more commonly used in soups and braises than thought of as a vegetable you would roast. Of course if you are accustomed to my recipes you will know that I'll roast anything I can get my hands on. My favourite aspect about roasting leeks in this way is that the centre remains soft and sweet while the outside becomes crunchy and golden. They also look spectacular with their roasted rings, which is a pleasure to the eye when they come out of the oven.
I had to guard these leeks with my life today while baking them as the smell was wafting through the house and outside to the tradies who have finally started on our extension, along with my husband and a friend of ours building our new fence. They ended up buying pies from the local pie shop of course (#clichetradiefood) so my leeks were safe in the end.
It's a strange mix of emotions at the moment with our renovations kicking off again. Mostly I'm ecstatic to see everything moving forward and to visually see the changes day to day. It all brings us closer to our goal of finishing and selling the house so we can head off to Italy for a well overdue extended holiday. However the mixing pot of emotions for me is actually the fact that I havent been able to be involved in building our house thanks to my damn broken wrist.
Some would think that sounds like a great "get out of jail free card" but for me it's just a "jail card" (#dramatic). As much as the renovations are hard work they are a welcome break for my headspace and and it also provides a time that Hubbard and I can really build and achieve something together. There is nothing like spending a super hard day of labour on the house then stepping back together and admiring everything that we have achieved. I love washing off the days dirt in the shower chatting over our accomplishments and then settling in with a yummy dinner and enjoying some Netflix together. It's certainly not quite the same watching from the sidelines.
Of course there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as this cast comes off in a weeks time and I'll be free to start rehabilitating it. I've got my eyes set on the ridiculous amount of fence posts that need to be painted up ready for the pending corrugated iron coming their way. Like the lunatic I am I'm actually looking forward to it and envisaging a sunny day, some great podcasts, sunglasses and some vitamin D activation. I've said it once and I'll say it again, it's the little things that bring the most pleasure.
For now the lesson in patience continues and that extends from getting into renovations through to the time it takes to chop the leeks to make this recipe. I've certainly learnt that getting angry at myself at not being able to do things doesn't help achieve anything. I've learnt to just take a few breaths and try again till I get it, or ask for help if I need it (plus or minus lots of swearing).
It's been an interesting five weeks so far since this broken wrist happened. I've caught myself staring at those around me using their two arms so easily with jealousy, yet at the same time I've had moments of such accomplishment - from the first time I tied my shoelaces to the first time I did up my own bra strap. Top knots are still the ultimate struggle and next week when this cast comes off I'm sure there will be more, but I'm excited and ready to take them on.
Prehat your oven to 200c, fan-forced.
Slice the leeks into roughly 2cm rounds and place in a medium sized baking dish. Add the freshly chopped dill.
Chop the lemon into quarters, then cut the quarters in half again removing any pips you can see. Add to the baking dish with the leeks and dill.
Add the salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Toss everything really well then place in the oven for 80 minutes, tossing at the 30 & 60 minute mark, adding more extra virgin olive oil if needed. The leeks are done when lovely and soft in the centre and a deep golden brown on the outside.
Serve drizzled with more extra virgin olive oil and ensure you eat the roasted lemon too as it truly makes the dish!