Matt’s Leeks Add A Pop Of Flavor

Matt Catingub is a leader in Hawaii’s music scene, whether he’s entertaining the crowds at Symphony Pops concerts or jazzing it up at festivals. Today, Matt is helping pop music make a comeback here on Oahu with the newly established Hawaii Pops.

Matt, who recently was appointed artistic director and conductor of Glendale Pops Orchestra and pops conductor for the New Hampshire Music Festival, has cooked up a remarkable season of pop music for us. The son of great jazz vocalist Mavis Rivers, Matt is an expert in fusing musical influences, with each concert being as unique as Hawaii – a rare blending of Polynesian, Hawaiian and American musical cultures with flavors from around the world.

The Hawaii Pops season runs through May and features stars including Sheena Easton and Al Jarreau. For more information, go to

Welcome back, Maestro Matt! Here is one of Matt’s favorite recipes to share with MidWeek readers.

Leeks have been grown and used in cooking for more than 3,000 years in Asia and Europe, and are mentioned in the Bible. The edible parts of the leek are the white onion base and light green stalk. Rinse leeks thoroughly before using. Leeks are low in fat, contain carbohydrates, folate and vitamin C, and a good source of potassium, calcium and phosphorus.


This simple dish makes the most of the rich flavor of leeks. Use it as a garnish for pork tenderloin or any dish that needs a little jazzing up.

* 3 or 4 leeks, trimmed
* 3 tablespoons olive oil (add gradually; the amount you need varies with the size of leeks)
* dash sea salt If time is of the essence,

you can wash and slice the leeks a few hours or even a day ahead. Cut the leeks from top to root and wash thoroughly. Thinly slice them on the diagonal.

Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and sea salt. Turn down the heat to low and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. Add more olive oil, if needed.

Ensure leeks are tender. You may even want them to be a little brown or roasted – it’s your choice.