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Prasa (Turkish Leeks with Tomatoes)

Andrew Chase
From Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan

Leeks were one of the earliest Jewish vegetables, and this delicious dish, adapted from a recipe by Susan Barocas, is perfect for entertaining. It can be prepared in advance and served cold, at room temperature or reheated.


  • 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 can  (28 oz/796 mL) whole tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large leeks, cleaned and cut lengthwise into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces, using tender green and white parts
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1/2 tsp  (2 mL)  salt
  • Pinch pepper


1. In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; carefully add tomatoes without any juice, mashing with wooden spoon (watch out for splattering oil). Stir; simmer for 5 minutes. Add garlic; simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Add leeks and reserved tomato juice. Simmer mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour, or until leeks are soft.

3. Stir lemon juice, salt and pepper into saucepan; simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until flavours are blended. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

Make-ahead: Refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days.

Tip: Vary the garlic and the amount of lemon to your taste. If you are not a garlic lover, substitute 1 tbsp (15 mL) of brown sugar for the garlic. 

Tip: An easy way to clean leeks is to trim them, chop them, put them in a strainer inside a bowl of cold water and swish them around several times to remove the grit and separate the pieces.
If dealing with a food allergy, intolerance or sensitivity or special dietary needs for a medical condition, always check the label of processed foods (including spices and condiments) to ensure that they’re free of potentially harmful ingredients. If you have any doubt about a product’s ingredients, contact the manufacturer.