So I still have leeks popping out of my yard, and I’ve got to say that I’m pretty excited about it.  Having never experienced their amazing flavor before a couple of years ago, I have loved every minute of cultivating, harvesting, and consuming these beauties.  This side-dish from Jamie Oliver was no exception.  Served with steak or sausage (as seen here), this makes a nice alternative to the mashed potatoes so often paired with heartier meats.

4 leeks, washed, trimmed and finely sliced
a small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
olive oil
a knob of butter
a wineglass of white wine
500g/1lb 2oz good-quality tinned or jarred butter beans, drained and rinsed
a small handful of freshly picked parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
good-quality peppery extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sweat the leeks, thyme and garlic with a splash of olive oil and the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on a low heat for 20 minutes until they are soft and sweet. Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Let the wine come to the boil, then add the beans and a splash of water, so that the beans are almost covered. Allow to simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the beans are lovely and creamy (mash a little with the back of your spoon if needed). Add the parsley, crème fraîche and a good glug of the extra virgin olive oil and taste for seasoning.

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