Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Rosemary Poached Leeks with Tomato Water and Olives
Even when I am feeling down in the dumps, I dream of cooking and food. Yesterday I made scallops with tomato water and beurre blanc. Our farm share tomatoes are incredibly sweet this week from the lovely summer sun, and that made me want to experience them in their natural state. Only once a year do tomatoes sing such a song as to make me want to do very little to them. No coaxing necessary.
So tonight driving home from a school meeting, my mind wandered to the ingredients in my kitchen. I would be getting home around 6:20 and have very little time to throw something together.
Leeks and tomatoes; my willing volunteers.
A purist may say tomato water has the seeds removed. I choose not to because I am lazy.
2 tbls fresh rosemary
2 pinches salt
3 small or 2 medium tomatoes (should be very ripe and soft)
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
6 olives pitted and chopped
salt to taste
1 tbls shredded pecorino romano cheese
trim leeks and remove 2-3 layers of outer most skin. Tie butcher string around ends to keep leeks from falling apart in poaching water.
Heat stock pot or large pot with water. Bring to boil, add two good pinches of salt and rosemary. Add leeks turn heat to medium and poach until tender (15-20 min) Test doneness with sharp knife. Remove from water using tongs and gently squeeze excess water over stock pot before setting on a plate. Remove string with scissors and when cool enough to touch, slice into 2 inch slices. You may need to remove a few more layers of skin. Taste for tenderness. The whitest part of the leek will be the most tender and get tougher as you go down the stalk.
Cut tomatoes in half and grate tomatoes on hand grater. The purpose of this is to remove the pulp and seeds from the skin of the tomato. Do this over a bowl. Discard tomato skins and salt the tomato water to taste. Pour tomato water into two bowls you will be using to serve dish.
Add leeks to tomato water, top with chopped olives and top with olive oil and then pecorino cheese.