Leeks are one of my favourite veg, and this recipe for sautéed leeks and peas is one of the nicest ways to enjoy them. Both vegetables are naturally quite sweet, and complement each other really well. And it's a great way to sneak 2 veggies onto your plate!
What you'll love about the recipe
- Quick and easy to prepare, with just 3 ingredients.
- Healthy. Leeks and peas are a great choice as they are high in fibre and prebiotics, meaning they are good for gut health.
- A simple vegetable side dish that complements meat, fish and vegetarian mains. Try them as a side with healthy turkey burgers or spatchcock chicken.
Health benefits of leeks
Leeks are part of the same family as onions and garlic and share many of the same health benefits. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and contain a number of anti inflammatory compounds. The soluble fibre that they contain is really good for your digestion, and can also help to keep you feeling full. You can read more about the health benefits of leeks here. You might also like this leek and watercress soup recipe.
Health benefits of peas
Peas are also a good source of vitamins and fibre. They are part of the legume family, and like other legumes contain plant protein and iron.
Leeks. Leeks are widely available in the UK from the start of autumn until late spring. Stored in the fridge, they'll keep for up to 2 weeks. As well as cooking them with peas, I also like to include them in dishes such as this lower fat fish pie, egg fried rice and quiche made with cottage cheese.
Frozen peas. Peas are such a useful staple that most of us keep in the freezer. Of course you could use fresh peas if you prefer, but they are rarely available.
Olive oil. You could also use another healthy oil if you prefer. If you want to use butter, it's best to use a mix of oil and butter so that it doesn't burn too easily.
Add some savoury bacon bits to the leeks and peas to turn this easy recipe into a light lunch.
How to make sautéed leeks and peas
It's important to clean the leeks before using them as grit and dirt can get stuck between the leaves as they are growing. Trim the dark green ends from the top, and slice lengthways through the top 30 cm of the leek.
Then holding the trimmed ends downwards, (so that any dirt doesn't run further into the leek) rinse them over the sink. Peel back the leaves as you rinse them to check that they are thoroughly clean.
Then cut into 0.5 cm slices, discarding the bottom slice with the root.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil. Tip in the leeks and fry for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. The leeks will start to brown in places which will add to the flavour.
Meanwhile, pop the peas in a sieve and pour over some boiling water so they start to defrost.
Add the peas to the pan with the leeks and fry for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
Sautéed leeks and peas just need seasoning, and you can add a little butter if you like.
If you love the flavour of leeks and peas, you might also like to try this simple leek and pea risotto recipe.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, if you prefer, leeks can be boiled. Just prepare them as outlined above and add to boiling water. Simmer for 5-6 minutes or until tender.
For this recipe you'll want the white and pale green parts of the leek. However, the darkest green parts can also be eaten in soups, stews and stocks.
Although the flavour of fresh peas is delicious, frozen peas are as nutritious as fresh. They are also cost effective and convenient.
Other healthy vegetable side dishes
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Sautéed Leeks and Peas
- large frying pan
- 2 leeks approx 350 g
- 300 g frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preparing the leeks
- Trim the darkest green leaves from the top of the leeks. Cut a slit lengthwise halfway down the leeks. Rinse the leek under a running tap moving the leaves apart to remove all the dirt. Hold the sliced end downwards in the sink so that any grit or soil runs out.
- Cut the leeks into 0.5 cm slices, discarding the end slice with the root.
- Heat a large pan and add the olive oil. Fry the leeks for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, put the peas in a sieve and pour over some boiling water to defrost them.
- Add the peas to the leeks and fry for another 3 - 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and season to taste.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only