Food & Drink

Editor's Pick: Leek Pesto

All about alliums


Last week marked the return of Green City Market to Lincoln Park — and you can bet I was there. I look forward to the market every Wednesday during the summer. It’s a tight-knit community: Chefs shop for vegetables to plan their menus; home cooks mingle among them.

During my visit, I picked up the biggest bunch of leeks I’ve ever seen. I love leeks but always feel guilty wasting the green stalks. Luckily, I ran into Abe from X-Marx and asked him for some advice. He suggested blanching and pureeing them and spooning the spread over eggs or fish.

I blanched them later that night — and then I made pesto. It was on a lark, but it worked, and I have to say the results are delicious. Try it for yourself. — Emily, Chicago editor

Leek Pesto
Serves six

2 bunches leek greens
1/3 c. pine nuts
1/3 c. grated Parmesan
2 lemons, juiced
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Boil a large pot of water. Add leeks and leave for 5 minutes, until leeks are softened. Drain, run under cold water, and let cool.

2. Add leeks and all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor. Puree until smooth.

3. Slowly add olive oil and blend.

4. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy on toast, fish, quinoa, or straight from a spoon.

Green City Market, Lincoln Park, between Clark Street and Stockton Drive (773-880-1266 or greencitymarket.org).

Photo: Georgia Glynn Smith / Getty Images

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Lincoln Park
bt Clark St & Stockton Dr
Chicago, IL 60614