After John went on his wild leek excursion, I wanted to go hunting for leeks as well, so my youngest daughter and I got very clear instructions from John on where exactly the leeks were. We headed up into the woods, headed for the train tracks, and then headed to the left, and what was there? Not the big giant patch of wild leeks we expected, but a camouflage tent – right there in the middle of our woods, creepy and mysterious. Yup, we high-tailed it out of there, looking over our shoulders for Freddy Kruger, and forgetting about the leeks.
LOL, joke was on us. When we got back to the house, John told me it was a friend of ours that had pitched the tent. Even so, it was still creepy. John had to go back into the woods with us to find the leeks after that, and we did find a nice smallish patch. We dug up just a few of those intense little bulbs, and I used them with some morels in a delicious sauce for our dinner.
Wild Mushroom and Leek Sauce for chicken or pasta or gnochhi
2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter
1 handful of washed, chopped leeks
2 cloves garlic, minced
Big handful of washed and chopped wild mushrooms
Splash of sherry or white wine (optional)
1 sprig savoury
1 sprig thyme
1 cup (250 mL) 35% cream
Salt, pepper, cayenne, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
Melt the butter in a good sized pan set over medium high heat. Add the leeks to the pan, cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms to the pan, cook and stir for another 5 minutes, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and continue to cook until mushrooms start releasing their delicious mushroom juices. Add the splash of wine or sherry to the pan, if desired. Toss in the sprigs of fresh herbs; cook and stir until mushroom aroma is completely delicious, and the liquids are pretty much reduced by half. Add the cream to the pan, cook and stir until it has reduced somewhat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and a pinch of cayenne, if desired.
Serve over a cooked chicken breast or thigh, or toss with some pasta or gnocchi. Some freshly grated parmesan is very nice on top of everything, and maybe a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley, just to boost the colour.