Turkish Braised Leeks and Carrots In Olive Oil

Elizabeth Taviloglu
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 1 bowl (6 servings)

Are you looking for new ways to cook with leeks beyond leek soup? If you're a fan of the delicate taste of leeks, then this Turkish recipe for braised leeks and carrots is perfect for you.

Like many Turkish vegetable dishes, the leeks, or 'pırasa' (pur-AH'-SAH'), are simply braised with carrots, rice and spices until tender. This method of cooking allows the understated, oniony flavor of the leeks to combine with the sweetness of the carrots to give you a delightful, tender vegetable dish with delicate flavors.

Before serving, a good amount of high quality extra virgin olive oil is drizzled over the top. This helps add body to the dish and helps to preserve it if you plan to keep it in the refrigerator for a few days.

In Turkey, this and other vegetable and olive oil dishes, are called "zeytinyağlılar" (zay-TIN' yah-LUH'-lar). They are most often served just after or with the main course, or on their own with some fresh bread for a light lunch.

If you have leeks on hand and want to try something different, this easy Turkish recipe may be just what you're looking for. Even though it's simple and quick to prepare, it actually looks so lovely on the plate you can dress it up for your vegetable-loving guests.

What You'll Need

  • 5 large leeks
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 tbsp. rice (short grain, heaping spoonful)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar (heaping spoonful)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tbsp. parsley (chopped Italian parsley leaves)
  • 1/2 medium lemon (juiced)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin)

How to Make It

  1. Begin by washing the leeks and cutting them into 2 inch diagonal slices. Place them in your pressure cooker or in a large saucepan.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots and cut them into diagonal slices about ¼ inch thick. Place them in the saucepan with the leeks.
  3. Add the uncooked rice, sugar, salt, pepper and parsley. Drizzle the water and lemon juice over the top. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Let the leeks and carrots simmer slowly until the water is almost gone and they are very tender.
  1. Once your vegetables are cooked, leave them to cool down in the pan with the cover on. When they've cooled down to room temperature, remove the lid. Pour the olive oil evenly over the vegetables and move them around in the pan to work the oil through them. Don't stir them as this will damage the vegetables. Sprinkle some more chopped fresh parsley over the top.
  2. When you are ready to serve them, slide the vegetables out of the pan on to your serving plate. If you need to use a spatula or spoon, scoop them out of the pan very gently as not to damage them.
  3. You can serve the leeks and carrots at room temperature, or refrigerate them for a few hours before serving. You can squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top just before serving for extra tang.