Leeks in Olive Oil | Turkish Eats

Pırasa ıs a much cherished vegetable in Turkey.  In United States, it was a challenge to find them at all but thankfully, they are slowly becoming a regular item in major stores. Unfortunately, leeks you find in American grocery stores are sometimes too thick and rough for this recipe.  Do not buy stalks thicker than 1 inch.


  • 3 - 4  leek stalks to yield approximately 1 lb of usable leek slices)
  • 1 medium  onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4' thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons rice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • lemon juice for garnish


  1. Remove the rough, dark green ends of the stalks.
  2. Remove two layers of the skin.  Dirt from the ground goes between these outer layers and can be a nuisance ruining the whole dish.  
  3. Cut the stalks into 1 inch long cylinders. Leave them in water for about an hour. Leeks float and any dirt attached to them collect at the bottom of the bowl. Rinse the leek cylinders several times to make sure that they are all free of dirt.
  4. Weigh the leek cylinders, they should weigh about 1 lb. If not, change the portions accordingly.
  5. Alternatively, you can skip all of the steps above and buy cut and frozen leeks at your local Trader Joe's store.
  6. Sautee the chopped onion in olive oil at medium heat for a few minutes until translucent.
  7. Add the carrot slices, continue sauteeing for a few more minutes.
  8. Add the chopped tomato, reduce the heat and cook for about five minutes.
  9. Add the leeks, sautee for a few minutes or until the leeks absorb the oil and look bright and shiny.
  10. Add the hot water.
  11. Add the rice, salt and sugar.
  12. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes.
  13. Serve at room temperature, add a few drops of lemon juice to spike it at the time of serving. 
© Mehmet Ozturk 2017