Weekday meals, be it lunch or dinner, repeatedly stump me. Lunch especially. When I work from home, I hardly ever want to take the effort of preparing an elaborate meal. Those are the days that I appreciate the effort of having picked up fruit and veg from the farmers market over the weekend. A foggy morning and unreasonably early wake up time called for a no-effort (or atleast minimal effort) meal. Scouring the fridge, all I had were some leeks, which for an unknown reason I am always drawn but don’t often use, potatoes, and a few store bought flatbreads. I didn’t feel like making the expected leek and potato soup, though in the mood of easy meals, that couldn’t be more simple and satisfying. More interesting instead was to caramelize the leeks, layer on the flatbread, add cheese, and broil for a quick ‘pizza’. I added a few more ingredients – fried garlic and walnuts for some crunch – and drizzled honey after the flatbread as ready. It provided the perfect amount of sweetness to balance the mild onion flavor of the leeks. All while listening to my current favorite band, the dreampop wonders Wild Nothing.
2-3 medium leeks
2 flatbreads/pita breads
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
Mix of shredded cheese, anything you have on hand (I had pecorino romano, clothbound cheddar and manchego, which work pretty well)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Crushed black pepper
Chop the leeks and place in large colander. Leeks usually have dirt between the layers so you want to wash the chopped leeks thoroughly. Dry either with some paper towels or use a salad spinner to remove excess water. In a saucepan, add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and toss in the leeks when hot. Add the sea salt and the sugar (if using), and cook on a medium-low flame until the leeks are deeply colored and caramelized. This should take about 20 mins, but avoid increasing the heat as you don’t want the leeks to burn. Remove the leeks when caramelized.
Add half a tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and fry the garlic until brown. Remove and set aside. Place the flatbreads in a pan bottom side up and broil in the oven under the maximum setting until crisp. Remove the flatbreads, flip them over and assemble the pizza.
Brush the tops with the remaining olive oil, divide and spread the leeks, garlic and walnuts. Top generously with shredded cheese and crushed red pepper and black pepper, and place under the broiler for 5-7 mins until the edges of the flatbreads are toasted and crisp, being careful not to burn either the flatbread or the cheese. Remove from the oven and drizzle honey before serving.