Turkish Leeks and Carrots

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Our end-of-the week recipe comes from Dana Jacobi, author of the 12 Best Foods Cookbook and a contributor to the American Institute for Cancer Research’s New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life


“I have not yet been to Turkey,” she says, “so eating in restaurants is how I have come to know and love this deeply traditional cuisine. I have tried Turkish dishes in so many restaurants around the country that I now have favorite dishes and can recognize when they are well prepared. In my opinion, the best Turkish restaurants are understated and their food memorable.”

All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.

Turkish Leeks and Carrots

Makes 4 servings 

4 medium leeks (about 1½ pounds)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 large carrot, cut into 3/8” slices
1½ cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup cooked brown basmati rice
1 teaspoon freshly minced lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

  1. Cut off the root tip of the leeks. Starting at the bottom, cut the white part into 3/4” rounds, stopping 1” into the light green part. Wash and dry the sliced leeks.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet or Dutch oven large enough to hold the vegetables in one layer. (A tight-fitting cover is also needed.) Sauté the onions until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the leeks and carrots, and cook until the onions are soft, 2 minutes longer, taking care not to let the vegetables color.
  3. Add the broth, rice, lemon zest, juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover and simmer until the leeks are al dente, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook until the leeks are very tender and the liquid is reduced and soupy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to a serving dish, and cool to room temperature. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Before serving, sprinkle with the dill. Or: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, and add the dill before serving. 

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