In my WECK Small-Batch Preserving cookbook, I share a recipe for a savory leek paste that my friend Holly Howe contributed. Holly is the author of Mouthwatering Sauerkraut and developed this delicious, fermented recipe.
This leek paste is used to enhance soups, stews, sauteed greens and pasta dishes. It also makes a great spread for cheese and crackers or a savory spread for sandwiches.
Yield: 1 pint jar (2 cups)
- 2-3 leeks (1 pound), grit removed, coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2-3 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
Wash and prepare leeks by removing the outer leaves and cutting off the darkest portion of each stalk. Slice lengthwise into uniform-sized pieces. Rinse under cold water, removing any dirt and grit.
In a food processor, pulse the garlic until finely chopped, then add leeks and pulse again until roughly chopped. Add remaining ingredients.
Pack mixture into a clean pint canning jar, leaving 1 to 2 inches of headspace. Push the paste down well so that there are no air bubbles within the mixture. Apply the jar lid and tightly screw on the ring.
This is a 3-to-5-day ferment. Ferment at room temperature and keep out of direct sunlight.
Open the jar once daily, and (with a clean utensil) stir the mixture. Pat it back down to remove any air pockets. Taste test the paste on day 4 to determine if it’s finished fermenting. It should have a slightly sour taste, and the flavors should have melded together. An indication that the paste is finished and ready to enjoy is when the bright green color of the leeks has dulled and the leeks have softened.
Once complete, store in an airtight container and transfer to the refrigerator.