Recipe Detail Page
Stuffed Leek Parcels with Avgolemono Sauce
Stuffing vegetables is a time-honoured Greek tradition. Here, large leek leaves are treated as phyllo is in making spanakopita, forming beautiful triangular parcels. Purchase the largest leeks you can find.
4 large leeks
½ cup (125 mL) long-grain white rice
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, finely diced
6 oz (175 g) ground veal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) currants
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated lemon zest
3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped parsley
½ cup (125 mL) low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 cup (250 mL) low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
1 Trim leeks of roots and tops leaving 8-inch (20-cm) lengths of white and pale green leek. Cut along the length of each about 5 leaves deep; carefully remove large outer leaves (reserve remaining leaves for another use), and wash under running water. Cut leaves lengthwise into 30 strips 2 to 2½ inches (5 to 6 cm) wide. Cook strips in plenty of salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain.
2 Return water to a boil; stir in rice and cook for 8 minutes (rice will not be fully cooked); drain in a separate colander. Set leeks and rice aside.
3 Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; sauté shallot until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add veal to pan; use a fork to break it apart and cook until no longer pink. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add drained rice, currants, and cumin. Continue to cook until mixture is dry, about 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and parsley.
4 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
5 Drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil into a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking dish or casserole. Working with 1 strip of leek at a time, blot dry with paper towel and place 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the stuffing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the end nearest you. Fold end over filling to form a triangle. Continue folding along the strip, ending with a triangular parcel; repeat with remaining leeks and filling, and arrange all in a single layer in baking dish. (If making ahead, parcels may be made to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days before proceeding.) Pour chickenstock over, cover dish tightly with foil and cook in oven for 1 hour.
6 Meanwhile, prepare Avgolemono Sauce by whisking together egg yolks, cornstarch and lemon juice in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly pour over egg mixture, whisking constantly, until combined. Return mixture to saucepan over medium-low; cook until thickened, again whisking constantly, about 3 minutes (don’t allow sauce to boil).
7 Divide warm leek parcels between 10 small plates and top each with a spoonful of the sauce and additional parsley if you like.