You’re going to your partner’s/best-friend’s/roommate’s/person you’ve just started dating’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner. You’ve been asked to bring a dish. Or, you’re a vegetarian or a vegan and you have this sneaking feeling that everything is going to have some kind of butter, chicken broth, or cream in it and you’re pretty sure you’ll 1) have to explain why you’re abstaining from everything but the booze and cranberry sauce and 2) be starving by the time you head home.
We can’t help you explain your dietary restrictions, but we can help to make sure you don’t go hungry. Bonus: This dish is also a good way to divert others’ attention away from what you’re not eating and toward more intriguing topics of conversation such as What exactly is confit? and Did you know that leeks, onions, and garlic are members of the lily family?
Bring it along with a crusty loaf or round of bread and a bottle of Spanish sidra, and now you can discuss the sudden rise of hard cider and how you at least haven’t gone gluten free! (Which, if you have, no judgments. Just swap out that bread for some spendy GF seed crackers.
Leek and Shallot Confit
8 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Split the leeks in half lengthwise, wash well, and slice 1/4” thick. Peel and coarsely chop the shallots. Peel and halve the garlic cloves.
In a medium pot, combine all ingredients. The oil won’t cover everything, but don’t worry. Give it time and let it do it’s thang. Slowly. Place over low heat and let the confit cook (and cook and cook), stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. When the leeks are melted, the shallots are buttery soft, and the garlic is completely softened (about 40 minutes), remove from heat. Pour into a glass jar and cool completely.
Eat at room temperature with crusty bread. Leftovers can be saved in the refrigerator for probably longer than you’ll take to polish them off (a couple weeks).