Makes 6-8 servings
1 small beet, scrubbed
6 large leeks
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry
Juice of one lemon
Zest of ½ lemon
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beet in a piece of foil and place in the oven, directly on a rack. Roast for 20-30 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Trim the leeks of the dark green leaves and roots. Split each leek lengthwise and rinse to remove exterior dirt and sand from the leaves. Soak and agitate the leeks in a large bowl of tepid water allowing any remaining sand that was lurking between the leaves to settle to the bottom of the bowl. Remove the leeks from the water and drain in a colander. Return to a fresh bowl of water for a second or third rinse if needed.
3. Pour one tablespoon of the oil in the bottom of an oven proof dish large enough to hold the leeks in one layer. Lay the leeks cut side up, sprinkle with fresh thyme, a bit of salt and fresh pepper, and drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil. Place in the oven lightly covered with foil for 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the leeks until they are softened and lightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven and turn the leeks cut side down. The underside should be golden brown and this browned part should now be facing up.
4. In a small, nonreactive bowl add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Remove the beet from the foil and use a paring knife to peel away the skin. This should remove very easily. Cut the beet into thin slices, cut the slices into strips and the strips into small cubes. Mix these cubes with the vinaigrette and let sit until ready to serve. Adjust seasoning as needed. Make a line of beet vinaigrette along the center of the leeks before serving. These leeks can be served warm or at room temperature.
Per serving: 152 calories, 12.5 grams total fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 10.9 grams carbohydrates, 1.2 grams protein, 23 milligrams sodium, trace fiber