Move over creamed spinach, this Creamed Leeks with Crème Fraîche side dish is going to blow your mind. Fantastically flavorsome and elegant without requiring too much work on your behalf. Simply slice the leeks into thin noodle lengths with a sharp knife, boil and then sauté to perfection, and mix with a simple crème fraîche and black pepper sauce. Creamed leeks make a great side dish when you are looking for something a little bit different that isn't going to require too much time in the kitchen.
Creamed Leeks with Crème Fraîche
When leeks are in season and not ridiculously overpriced, this creamed leek side dish is a great way to get creative in the kitchen and whip up something a little bit different.
No need for a vegetable spiralizer, these slippery leek noodles are hand-cut using a sharp knife, making them a super easy side dish to whip up in no time at all.
You will need:
- sea salt
- crème fraîche
- a good quality extra virgin olive oil, or if you really feel like dressing it up you could hunt down some hazelnut or macadamia oil
- lots of freshly ground black pepper
Nothing too left of field.
How To Make Creamed Leek
Creamed leeks are so easy to make.
- remove the green part of the leek and put it aside for another use (how about washing and freezing in a Ziploc bag to make some homemade veggie broth)
- slice the white part of the leek in half lengthways, and then cut those halves into quarters
- take each quarter and cut into thin strips. They should resemble noodles in shape.
The leek slices should be even in size and width to ensure they all cook at the same time and end up having the same texture once cooked.
Tip: Wash Those Leeks Well! They tend to hold on to a lot of dirt so be sure to give them a good scrub.
Once you have sliced the leek into thin strips make sure you wash it really well, as leeks tend to hold on to a lot of dirt.
I tend to wash it before cutting and then wash the leek noodles again after they have been cut.
It is important to sauté the noodles after they have been drained of the cooking water for two reasons:
- If you do not, you will end up watering the crème fraîche and pepper sauce down too much and losing a lot of the flavor of the dish
- If the leeks are too wet the cream sauce will not cling to them as well and it will end up looking like cooked leek sitting in a watery pool
Not appetizing at all.
Use a pair of tongs to move the leeks around the hot pan until there is no water pooling between the strips.
Watch it though, we don't want them to burn.
A Note On Ingredients
Leeks are something most of you have probably worked with in the past, most likely for a simple potato leek and cheddar soup.
However, combining them with crème fraîche and lots of freshly ground pepper changes this humble vegetable from a ho-hum everyday ingredient, to something a little bit more exciting.
This can be found in the cold section of the supermarket where you would find sour cream and other creams.
If you cannot find it, or it's not something you want to hunt down, you can easily substitute it with sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt.
Please note, these are not as rich or tangy as crème fraîche, so there will definitely be a difference in the end result.
However, in a pinch, they will work.
Roasted Hazelnut Oil Or Macadamia Oil
You can definitely use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for creamed leeks.
However, if you want to kick it up a notch, try adding something a little more decadent, like roasted hazelnut oil or macadamia oil.
These can be found in well-stocked supermarkets in the same section as olive oil.
Veggie Noodles With A Twist
The combination of the already creamy leeks with some crème fraîche here makes for a beautifully rich dish.
It works perfectly as a side dish when served with:
- Chicken like this Lemon Parmesan Chicken
- Grilled fish
- Lamb chops
- A cooked ham
- On the Holiday table as a special side dish
- Stirred through mashed potatoes for a differing take on Irish Colcannon
Use your imagination.
I have also been known to eat them all by themselves.
Need More Fun Recipes Using Vegetables A Little Bit Differently?
Vegetables can be super versatile and easily used in lots of different ways to change up meal time.
Check out these recipes:
- Riced Broccoli
- Zucchini Cilantro and Lime Udon Noodle Bowl
- Ricotta and Cauliflower Tater Tots
- Veggie Loaded Tater Tots
- Porcini Mushroom and Leek Soup from Another Food Blogger
Creamed Leeks with Crème Fraîche
- 2 leeks white and light green part only
- ⅓ cup crème fraîche
- 1 teaspoon good quality extra virgin olive oil (or roasted hazelnut oil)
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt to taste
- 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the dark green part of the leek and set aside (see notes for suggestions. )
- Slice the white and light green part of the leeks in half lengthways and then into quarters. Taking each qurter at a time, use a sharp knife to cut the leeks into thin strips. They should resemble short noodles and be evenly sliced to a similar width.
- Rinse the sliced leeks well to ensure all dirt is removed.
- Place the sliced leeks into a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, cover, and cook until tender (about 7 minutes).
- Uncover, add about ½ teaspoon of salt, and cook for another 3 minutes. They should be very tender.
- Place the drained leeks back into the saucepan and heat, moving around the pan with a pair of tongs, for about 2 minutes to get rid of any excess water. You do not want to burn them.
- Add the crème fraîche and EVOO to the leeks and stir to combine.
- Pepper generously and allow the sauce to heat through before serving.
This recipe has been updated from the original version published on 2nd March 2015 to include new photos, tips, recipe substitutions, and serving recommendations.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.