As soon as the warm weather began to cool, my father Jean would serve us quintessentially French vegetable dishes of braised leeks, cabbage, or Belgium endive. Most were prepared in this buttery braised and herbaceous broth and then finished under the broiler. This is fresh country French cuisine at it finest, without the complicated steps and long list of ingredients. Only creamy butter, a little wine, fresh herbs and a hearty handful of grated cheese make this a must-have recipe for your fall recipe repertoire.


  • 6-8 medium leeks, about 2 pounds, trimmed and rinsed clean
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into slices
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino or cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Trim dark-green tops and roots from the leeks then cut in half lengthwise. Remove any tough, bruised outer layers. Hold the leeks to keep them intact, then rinse them under running water and drain.
  2. In a baking dish or cast iron skillet, arrange the leeks in a single layer, close together, with the cut sides up to absorb and hold the butter and broth.
  3. Add the wine to a small pan and boil for a minute and then add the broth and bring to a simmer. Turn heat off.
  4. Sprinkle the leeks with Kosher salt and a few good cranks of freshly ground pepper.
  5. Evenly distribute the slices of butter on top of the leeks and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Pour the wine and broth over the leeks and butter. Tightly cover the baking dish or pan with a lid or foil and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Add additional broth if necessary.
  6. Uncover and continue simmering for 15-20 minutes or until the leeks are tender and the broth has reduced by half or more.
  7. Preheat broiler to high.
  8. Sprinkle the leeks with the Pecorino or Parmesan cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Add additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


I like to make and serve this dish in a cast-iron skillet. I think it brings a beautiful and rustic flair to the dinner table.