Wine-Stewed Leeks With Dry Figs

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Photo by Rob Cardillo
Stewed leeks and dry figs with tomatoes and bay leaves.

The island of Cyprus hosts several native species of leeks, so it’s entirely natural that the human inhabitants have devised a multitude of ways to use them. And it’s only natural one of them would involve figs, which have a similarly long pedigree around the Mediterranean basin. When preparing leeks, be sure to rinse away any excess soil or sand and trim off the thinnest part of the top leafy green portion.

Wine-Stewed Leeks With Dry Figs

1 cup dry figs, coarsely chopped
2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
6 fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 pound leeks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Pour 1 cup boiling water over figs. Soak until soft (about 25 minutes). After the figs have softened, pour the figs and their water into a small saucepan. Add tomatoes and bay leaves. Cover and stew until the tomatoes are falling apart (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat oil in a broad skillet or sauté pan. Add garlic and leeks. Cover and sauté 3 minutes, then uncover and add wine and tomato-fig mixture. Continue cooking over medium heat until liquid is reduced to a thick sauce (about 20 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.

From The Wines of Cyprus by William Woys Weaver and Ilya Loysha (Moufflon Publications)