Sometimes a new recipe can ignite a love affair with an old, familiar ingredient.  This recipe brought leeks out of obscurity and into the spotlight for me.

Last week, I was honored and humbled to find that Babble (a parenting magazine and site) included me on their Top 50 Mom Food Blogs list. I also found myself on their Best Recipes list with the likes of Smitten Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman Cooks and few other inspiring favorites.  One of the best rewards?  Discovering dozens of new blogs I had never found before.  I spent hours clicking, reading, laughing and salivating.

It was the Angry Chicken who got me all whipped up about leeks.  She had recently made leek bruschetta with mustard and hard-boiled eggs but cited the recipe I made as inspiration.  Usually, when a leek turns up in my weekly produce box I think “soup.”  And, since those leeks are often blended together with other veggies, I can’t say as I knew exactly what they tasted like.

Leeks are in the onion family and I suppose I used them like an onion, as a flavor base.  Now I know better.  This recipe brings them out from behind the curtain and features them center stage where (in my newly formed opinion) they belong.

One of my favorite things about all bruschetta is its flexibility.  Experiment with different cheeses and toppings. Serve these as a starter, first course, light meal or snack.  Whenever you eat these leek topped toasts, you’ll see… they will stand out and steal the show.

Leek and Brie Bruschetta

From Martha Stewart

Makes 4 servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
6 medium leeks, whites and light green parts
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large slices (1/2 inch thick) hearty country bread
8 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced crosswise

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until leeks are very tender and just beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat broiler with rack set 4 inches from heat. Arrange bread on a broilerproof baking sheet. Dividing evenly, layer bread with Brie, cooked leeks, and sliced tomatoes; drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Broil until cheese has melted and tomatoes start to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.