Orange Leek Spaghetti | You know what happens when you pickle leeks in fiery orange juice? You get spaghetti. It’s true. Now, you might think Mr. Leek might be a little al dente to serve raw – hailing from the onion family and all – but it actually softens into strings and the flavor…oh, don’t get me started.
We use tart orange juice as a pickling liquid in this recipe to infuse as much acidity as possible. We then balance the flavor scale with fresh red pepper flakes to add just the right amount of spice. This will be your new favorite condiment.
* If you want them really spicy, wait at least 2 days! They’ll keep at least a week.
- Leeks - 1 large, white & light-green parts only, thinly sliced
- Orange Juice - 1 cup
- Red Wine Vinegar - 3 tablespoons
- Red Pepper Flakes - 1 tablespoon
- Sugar - 1½ tablespoons
- Salt - 1½ tablespoons
- Saucepan - medium
- Air-Tight Container - at least 2 cups in volume
- Wooden Spoon
- Thoroughly rinse your leek under water and clean off any dirt.
- Then slice off the root end and the dark-green leaves.
- Now grab that mandolin of yours and put it on its thinnest setting (that's a 1/32 for us).
- Then just go ahead and slice the cut-side of the leek to form rings. You should get at least 2 cups.
- Put the leek rings into your air-tight container.
- Let's make the pickling liquid. Toss all the other ingredients in the saucepan and put it over high heat.
- Bring it to a boil and let it boil for just 30 seconds.
- Stir it to make sure the sugar & salt are all dissolved.
- Take the pan off the burner and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Now just pour the liquid over the leeks. Make sure it covers the leeks completely. Add a little extra water if you need to.
- Seal the container up and toss it in the fridge for at least 4 hours to pickle. Enjoy!
* These leeks are awesome simply because they go great with so many things - really, anything that could benefit from a pickle pick-me-up.
* Remember, we are using kosher salt here. If you use iodized, it will taste like you swallowed a big mouthful of ocean water.
* Also, use fresh red pepper flakes. Old stuff that has been sitting in your cupboard for 5 years won't pack the same punch.