This olive oil dish can be found on the dinner tables of most Turkish homes quite frequently at all times of the year. Just like her cousins, onion and garlic, leeks have antiseptic qualities. What’s more interesting about these long, sleek, layered tubes is that during Roman times a variant of this vegetable with opium-like qualities was consumed at the end of dinner to induce sleep. Turks, people of the Ottoman land in wider terms, also serve this olive oil braised leek dish at the end of meals. I don’t know if there is any connection between the two cuisines, Ottoman and Roman (if there is such thing) so to speak, but I should note that Ottoman Sultans, starting from Mehmet II the Conqueror, held the title “Kayser” (meaning Ceasar), referring to the Ottoman rule as the heir to Eastern Roman Empire.
Despite all these meaningless bits and pieces of information thrown at you, please feel free to try the recipe below for a delicious and healthy olive oil dish:
4 cups of chopped leek, 2-3 cm-long pieces,
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm long pieces,
Juice of 1 lemon,
Juice of 2 oranges,
2 teaspoons of sugar,
2 level teaspoons of salt (adjust according to your liking),
2 cups of water,
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil,
1/2 cup of rice washed and drained,
1/2 cup of fresh parsley leaves, washed and drained.
Prepare all the ingredients, chop the vegetables, squeeze lemon and oranges, wash and drain the rice. Then, put all the ingredients, except for rice, into a steel pot. Cover and bring to boil on high heat. Then lower the heat, cover and simmer for at least 20-30 mins. Check one piece of carrot and leek to see if they reached the al dente stage. If so, add in the rice and cover again. Simmer for another 10 minutes, make sure the rice is cooked. Add 1/2 cup of boiling water(or more) if need be. Remove from the heat, throw in the parsley leaves, cover and let sit on the kitchen counter for overnight. Serve the next day at room temperature. Pairs nicely with white puffy sorts of bread.