Grilled Leeks with Shaved Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Prunes


Both island and mainland cooks have an affinity for all things in the onion family, from wild leeks and wild onions to scallions, shallots, onion stalks, and a host of purple and yellow onions of every shape and size. There are lots of dishes in the Greek kitchen, such as pies, stews, and roasted salads, that call for the onion as a main ingredient. The recipe below is an adaptation of an old Macedonian dish which called for wild onion or leek stalks.

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Grilled Leeks with Shaved Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Prunes

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings


  • 6 large leeks
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil, divided, plus extra for brushing the grill
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, strained lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Greek or other balsamic vinegar
  • 4 pitted prunes, finely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 ounces (150 gr.) kasseri, kefalotyri, or aged myzithra cheese, or any sharp sheep’s milk cheese, such as pecorino

Recipe Steps

1: Trim the leek roots and cut off and discard the tough green ends. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly under cold water to wash away any sand.

2: Bring an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a pot or steamer. Place the leeks in the steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and toss with half the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

3: While the leeks are steaming, whisk together the remaining olive oil, balsamic, chopped prunes, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

4: Light the grill to medium or place a grill pan on the stovetop and brush lightly with a little olive oil. Grill or sear the steamed leeks for 5 to 8 minutes, turning often with kitchen tongs, just until grill marks appear. Remove from the heat and place on a serving platter. Drizzle with the prune dressing and garnish with shaved cheese. Serve.

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Inspired by her travels and family gatherings, the recipes and stories Diane Kochilas shares in My Greek Table celebrate the variety of food and the culture of Greece.

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