Pic of Turkish poached sweet and sour leeks

Turkish poached sweet and sour leeks

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Turkish poached sweet and sour leeks

Starter Serves 4 25 min
This easy recipe is good as a side dish, especially with fish, but can also be served cold as part of a mezze selection, giving a welcome counterbalance to richer meat dishes. Use young and tender leeks to make it really sing. The formula works as well with cauliflower cut into small florets instead of leeks.


  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced (optional)
  • 600g whole young leeks, washed and trimmed, or older leeks cut into 3-4 inch lengths
  • 3 rounded tsp caster sugar or honey
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 300ml water
  • handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
  • handful fresh dill, roughly chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper
Image of Turkish poached sweet and sour leeks


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Place the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook the garlic until lightly coloured, if using.
  • Step 2

    Add the leeks, sugar, lemon juice, water and a good pinch of salt.
  • Step 3

    Simmer gently with the lid slightly ajar for 15 minutes or until soft and tender, adding a little more water if the leeks are starting to look dry.
  • Step 4

    Gently stir in the parsley and dill and check the seasoning. Serve with some of the poaching liquor spooned over.

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