Mitzismezze · Recipes

Fried Leeks in Tomato and Arak with Almonds

Arak is an aniseed flavoured alcoholic drink which turns milky white when water is added to it. Commonly called arak in Lebanon and similar in taste to raki in Turkey or ouzo in Greece, which is what I used below. If you have none of these at hand, use pernod or sambuca instead. On a side note, its worth investing the small sum in a bottle of ouzo as its perfect for cooking fish and shellfish dishes. Speaking of fish, these leeks would be a perfect pairing for some baked white fish. Swap the butter for olive oil below and its a delicious vegan side.


10g of butter

1 leek, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsps. of Arak

200g of tinned tomatoes

1 tsp. of brown sugar

40g of flaked almonds

2 tbsps. of fresh coriander, chopped


Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the leek and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic, arak and tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are pulpy and the mixture has thickened. Stir in the sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Dry-fry the almonds in a small frying pan over a low heat, shaking the pan frequently until golden, then add them to the vegetables. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve. 

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