Onions and leeks have been known in Egypt since ancient times. Romans regarded Egyptian leeks as the best. According to legend, the Emperor Nero was fond of them. This is an Egyptian way of preparing them. Serve cold as a salad or an appetizer, or hot as an accompaniment to meat or chicken.
- 2 pounds leeks
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons vegetable or extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
Wash the leeks carefully to remove any soil nestling between the leaves. Trim the root ends and cut off the tough green part of the leaves. Cut the rest into 2-inch pieces.
Fry the garlic and sugar in hot oil for moments only, until the sugar becomes slightly caramelized. Add the leeks and turn them, over moderate heat, to color them lightly. Sprinkle with lemon juice, add salt, and barely cover with water. Stew gently over very low heat until the leeks are tender and the liquid is reduced.
Serve hot or cold.
From “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food” by Claudia Roden
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