A little leek magic

And now, for something completely different.  (Brought to you by not enough sleep and a really comfy blanket.)

Last week I found a couple leeks in the back of the fridge.

I cast around for a while trying to think of what to do with them.  Then I went to the local produce stand, and found some cute little endives.  (Excuse me–on-deeves.  We’re classy here.)

I wondered what the endives would look like cut up.  I suspected they might look a little like leeks inside.  I decided to have some fun with the resemblance.

I cut the leeks into confetti.  Then I cut the endives into confetti.  Then I spent a little too much time running my fingers through the pile of confetti, marveling at how similar the leek-confetti and the endive-confetti looked.

I think I will now stop typing the word confetti.

Then I dumped it all in a skillet and scraped the bottom of my brain for a spark of an idea.

I stirred and cooked.  And stirred and cooked.  I showed off my favorite zester to my mom by zesting an orange.  I threw in some orange zest.  And stirred and cooked.

Slowly, the endive relaxed and turned pearly.  The leeks tanned and crisped at the edges.  The skillet began to release a sweet, flowery-orange, caramel-onion aroma.

Then I cracked in some eggs.  Just for funsies.  And protein.

The eggs were a really good idea.

The egg whites nuzzled their way into the veggies and gently clung, creating six perfect yellow-crowned portions.  Voila–endive-leek hash.

Sometimes it just works.

Endive and Leek Hash (serves 6)

2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only

4 endive (escarole) heads

Zest of half an orange

6 eggs

Olive oil for sauteing

Salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment: 12-inch skillet with a lid

Trim the root ends off the leeks and the flat bottoms off the endives.  Cut each leek in half lengthwise, rinse and dry thoroughly, then slice crosswise into little half-moon confetti.  Do the same with the endives.

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add sliced leeks and endives.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the veggies have softened and just started to turn golden.  Stir in orange zest and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the veggies have begun to brown around the edges.  (Leeks like to stick, so make sure to occasionally scrape up all the tasty brown pan-bottom bits.)  Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the sauteed mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.  Gently crack the eggs on top.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the egg whites are set and yolks are done to your liking.

Season the tops of the eggs with a little more salt and pepper, then remove from heat and serve.  If you’ve played your cards right, each egg will hold its little patch of hash together.

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