My Mum’s side of the family is Welsh so growing up there were lots of Welsh stories, phrases, food and holidays. There have been some epic story-tellers in my Welsh family and it taught me a lot about comedy, history and taking your time to share experiences, preferably over a Welsh Cake or two. Leeks are symbolic of Wales and this simple dish is a beautiful way to celebrate this magnificent vegetable. Don’t hurry leeks, they like slow and low heat.
Serves 2 Adults
1 large leek or 2 small ones
5 rashers of streaky bacon
240g drained cannellini beans
4 garlic cloves
a small bunch of mint leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
- Cut the bacon into squares (you don’t want them too small). Put 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan and cook on a medium high heat until crispy then remove the bacon from the pan to drain on some kitchen roll. Tip any excess oil from the pan but don’t wipe it (you want the bacony flavour). Turn the heat to medium and add 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- Discard the woody top and root bottom of the leek then cut into 1cm wide rounds (make sure it’s clean of any grit). Put the leeks into the pan, grind over with salt then put a lid on and cook for 2 minutes. This will steam and colour the leeks.
- Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Remove the lid, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute then add the drained cannellini beans and grind over with salt. Add the bacon back to the pan and cook for 2 minutes then turn off the heat.
- Roll the mint leaves into a cigar shape then finely cut. Squeeze the lemon juice of half a lemon (approx. 2 tbsp), sprinkle over the mint, stir and serve.