Leek Stew with Olives

This is an incredible healthy and vegan Romanian stew from the whereismyspoon web site. I didn’t expect the kids would love olive and leeks in a stew. But, this Romanian stew called “Praz cu masline” really blew my Nanny Kids away. It has so much flavor the kids gobbled it right up.

You Will Need:

1 lb leeks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8.8 oz tomatoes (small ones)
20 black olives with stone
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white wine
1 bay leaf
a small bunch parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
fine sea salt
5 peppercorns
some lemon wedges to serve, optional

What to Do:

1. Wash the leeks. The best method to wash the leeks is to slit the leek from the top to the bottom without cutting it all the way through and then carefully separate the layers without taking the leek apart while doing it and wash them under running water until all the dirt is removed.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Chop the white parts of the leeks and some of the sturdier green parts into 1.2 inch segments.

4. Heat the oil in a pot, add the leeks and ½ teaspoons salt, cover, and stew for about 6-7 minutes, stirring a couple of times in between.

5. In the meantime cut the tomatoes into wedges. I had smaller tomatoes, so I quartered each one of them.

6. Caramelize the sugar in a small pan. Add the sugar to the pan and let it get darker. When it is caramelized, add two tablespoons water and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.

7. Pour the sugar syrup into the pot with the leeks, add the tomato wedges, black olives, wine, bay leaf, ½ of the chopped parsley, lemon juice, and peppercorns. Adjust the taste with more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.

8. Stir carefully and if the pot is not suitable for the oven, transfer the food into a small casserole dish.

9. Bake for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and serve hot with bread as a main dish or with chicken/fish/ meat/ meatballs as a side dish. It can be served cold as well.

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