Turkish Poached Sweet and Sour Leeks

I am not going to lie, I did expect something a little bit punchier from this recipe than these turned out to be. They are yet another recipe from my beloved Moro (from the Casa Moro cookbook). I was thinking these would have more of a biting agrodulce type taste or even a bit of a pickled dressing but no. Being brutally honest, these are very mildly flavoured poached leeks, and I would not subscribe to the cookbook’s suggestion of them as a light meal in themselves. What they were wonderful for, however, was as part of a tapa’s menu, to offset the inevitable smokey, porky flavours you will get with a decent selection of traditional tapas.They are mild, sweet and melt in the mouth. If you wanted to liven them up a bit as a side, some aioli or romesco drizzled on top would go down a treat. Serves 6-8 as a tapa.

  • 600g leeks, preferably the smaller, thinner ones
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 teaspoons caster sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 300ml water
  • 1 bunch chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh dill
  • olive oil
  • greaseproof paper


  • Chop the garlic and saute in te oil i n a large saucepan.
  • Add the leeks, sugar, lemon juice, water and salt.
  • Cover with greaseproof paper, then a lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until soft, with the lid slightly ajar so a small crack of parchment paper is visible.
  • Stir in the herbs and season.

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