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"Cemetary Gates" Roasted Leeks with Fresh Thyme

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This recipe for simple roasted leeks has an intensely deep flavor that makes this weeknight side feel gourmet.

I'm a huge fan of roasting vegetables due to their simplicity and the intense flavor that roasting brings out. Roasted leeks are true to this form and are perfectly scented with fresh herbs in this recipe.

Roasted Leeks in white pan


My first experience with leeks did not go well. As a kid I had observed my grandfather eating raw green onions pretty much daily. I mean, he would eat the bulb and stem! During one of our weekly trips to the Dallas Farmer's Market one of the vendors my grandfather did business with was promoting these big green onions.

Looking to impress Pops, I offered to taste test the big green onions. Pops remained stoic and nodded to the vendor to let me try them. I went from happy go lucky kid to bitter beer face in a matter of seconds. I literally felt like I was at the Laural Land Cemetary gates.

What are leeks?

Later I would learn that those big green onions were not in fact green onions, but the bigger cousin Leeks which are very different texturally and tastewise. Leeks are slightly milder, but the stems are much tougher. Despite their slight bitterness, roasting them brings out their natural sweetness and make for a delicious side. Best of all they don't require much as it's as simple as adding olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasting. Lemon zest, fresh parmesan, garlic, and thyme are all great flavor enhancer options.

Roasted Leeks Ingredients

Ingredient list is as simple as it gets. It's basically one ingredient

  • Leeks
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh Thyme (optional)

How To Roast Leeks

The recipe doesn't require steps; just add oil, season, and roast.

Step 1: Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and pre-heat to 400 Degrees F

Step 2: Toss leeks in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Arrange leeks cut side down on hot baking sheet and cover loosely with foil

Step 3: Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Bake leeks until lightly browned on cuts side and tender (1 ½ hours). Uncover leeks and turn cut side up. Increase oven temp back up to 400 degrees F. Roast leeks another 15-20 minutes. Add fresh thyme.

Serving Suggestions:

These pair well with pretty much any protein especially fish or chicken. Recipe ideas include:

Blackened Chicken

Grilled Salmon

Smoked Trout

Jerk Fried Chicken

For similar roasted vegetable recipes try these:

Roasted Plums

Roasted Whole Cauliflower

Roasted Turnips with dijon mustard glaze

Glazed Harissa Carrots

Crispy Roasted Okra

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Roasted Leeks

Simple Roasted Leeks with Fresh Thyme

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Modern Soul Food
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Marwin Brown


  • 4 leeks white and pale-green parts only, cut in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper


  • Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven and preheat to 400°F.
  • Rinse leeks well and pat completely dry. Toss with ½ cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange leeks, cut side down, on hot baking sheet and cover loosely with foil.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Bake until leeks are lightly browned on cut sides and very tender, about 1 ½ hours.
  • Uncover leeks and turn cut side up. Increase oven temperature to 400°F; roast leeks until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
  • Add fresh thyme


Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1484IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg
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