I have always enjoyed braised leeks, but I see so many different methods of doing it and many seem to result in a sub-par result, either rendering it into a charred mess, or chopping it up into soggy confetti.
I can't say that my way is the best way, but its the way we like them.
Take small leeks. Save the big ones for something else. No bigger than your thumb. Well, my thumb, anyway.
Take the leeks and cut off the root and the green part above where it branches out. You don't want to do the 'split and shake around in water rinse' technique, you want just the tightly wrapped part that isn't going to have dirt inside. Remove the outer leaves if they are coarse.
When you have the BBQ up to heat, drop them on, and turn them a couple of times. It shouldn't take more than 5-6 minutes total on a hot barbie to get good markings on the outside. If you leave them on too long, you can always remove the outer layer, but you run the risk that you will render the insides soft and squishy, which isn't what we are after.
Immediately put the leeks into a snap on plastic container and seal (I often drizzle with EVOO before I seal them up. Leave them alone for 10-15 minutes so the cooking continues and the leeks are cooked through but not soft. You can serve them warm or chill them for cold service later and this method is simpler than blanching and then grilling and I think it gives a nicer tactile feel - not slimy or slippery, but still crisp but tender.
Toppings/dressings include balsamic vinegar and EVOO, S&P, bacon bits (which go with just about anything! - and I mean real bacon, not fake bacon as found at chain restaurant sald bars - but surely I don't have to say that here.) I rarely get any fancier than that although people seem to want to add cheese, dried tomatoes, peppers, Heaven knows what. I like simple, maybe a vinaigrette....but I hate to see that ravelled pile of sad stringy looking leeks that often results from some recipes and techniques I've seen.
Any other fave leek preparations?