Brazilian Leeks

"Leeks as a side dish. Who knew? These leeks benefit from the slow cooking to bring out their natural sugars. Don't cook them too fast or over heat them so they'll burn. Slow, gentle heat will produce soft and sweet leeks that you can twirl on your fork like spaghetti! The recipe calls for a sweet balsamic reduction. I've included the directions for that. Recipe courtesy of Eva Longoria."
photo by Elmotoo photo by Elmotoo
photo by Elmotoo
Ready In:


  • 4 leeks (white and light green parts only)
  • 4 -6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Sweet Balsamic Reduction

  • 12 cup balsamic vinegar, good quality
  • 5 teaspoons sugar


  • Sweet Balsamic Reduction:

  • Put the balsamic vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the vinegar is reduced to 3 or 4 tablespoons. It should be the consistency of warmed honey and will have a caramelized sweet-tart flavor. This takes approximately 10 minutes. (You can refrigerate and store this reduction for up to 2 weeks.).
  • Leeks:

  • Trim the leeks and cut them in half lengthwise. Under running water, use your fingers to gently pull open the layers of the leeks to rinse away the sand. Shake the excess water off. Thinly slice the leeks lengthwise into long, thin strips.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large skiller over low heat. When the butter has melted, add the leeks. If you can't add all the leeks at one time, add them in batches and use tongs to turn them gently as they cook, bringing the leeks on the bottom of the pan to the top as they reduce in volume -- this will make more room.
  • Once all of the leeks have been added, cook gently, stirring occasionally until they are soft enough to be twirled on a fork like spaghetti! This should take approximately 18 to 10 minutes. Add a little more butter or oil if needed.
  • Serve, drizzling a little of the reduced balsamic vinegar over each portion.

Questions & Replies

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  1. We love leeks but everyone agreed that the leeks cut this way are too stringy. The balsamic reduction is decadent! Next time I will cut the leeks crosswise. Made for Culinary Quest 2014/CCQ.
  2. Yum! I used 3 leeks, so scaled the recipe down a little. I loved the balsamic reduction, it was so flavorful. I will be making this again. Thanks! Made for ZWT 2011 by a Food.Commando!


Hello! I have a wonderful husband and two fantastic kids. I love to read, have fun with family and friends, stay active with: running; soccer; golf; biking; hiking; and gardening. I love to travel. I'm looking forward to more international travel someday. Cooking has become a passion for me. I love to read cookbooks, watch the Food Network, and try new recipes. I have way too many cookbooks! A few of my favorites are: Barefoot Contessa (any - but especially 'Family Style'),Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals 2, Roasting by Barbara Kafka, Beyond Parsley & The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook. I try to carefully choose recipes that I think my family will enjoy, which is why most of my ratings are 3-5 stars. Happy cooking!
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