Leek and Onion Jam (Sweetened with Dates)

About 10 days ago, I decided I would take part in the Eat Capture Share Winter Food Photography Challenge, hosted by the lovely Kimberly from the Little Plantation.

Every week for whole month, she would send us 3 themes to respect for the 3 images we were to post on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 

I was super excited to take part of this challenge as I had never done anything like it before. I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to get outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself creatively speaking. 

When I got the first email detailing the first 3 themes of the week, my heart started beating faster in excitement... then... I read that the first theme was LEEKS and ONIONS and Kimberly encouraged us to create a moody image.

My heart dropped.

Moody... Me? Most of my images, as you might have notice from navigating through my website, are very far from moody. I tend to create images that are brighter, with a blue tint and very often a pop of color.

Let’s just say my experience in terms of moody photography is very limited to say the least. So how did I tackle this challenge? I hopped on my favorite online learning platform: YouTube. I started watching all the moody photography video tutorials I could find, trying to learn as much as I could about how to recreate this type of ambiance. 

After I gathered a couple of key points to keep in mind, I started to brainstorm how to bring this theme to life. After half an hour or so, I had made a choice: leek and onion jam!

How did I come up with this idea? Umm.. I knew I wanted to make a recipe and not simply shoot the ingredients as they were. I also knew I wanted to create something that would highlight the rich, caramel like flavour of onions. I used some balsamic vinegar to add a deeper flavour profile and balanced out the sweetness of the jam by adding an acidic element: rice vinegar.

Leek and Onion Jam

When I put this jam together, I had honestly no idea how delicious it would turn out! I say this rarely, but I feel like this jam is one of the best things I have EVER made... Yes, it’s that good! I love the fact that you can have it with some crackers or on a toast with some vegan cheese. Add it to your burgers or sandwiches. I think it would even be delicious mixed into a creamy mac and cheese.

The possibilities for this spread are truly endless.

I really hope you guys try this recipe as it is absolutely AMAZING! If you end up making it, please share your creation on IG and tag me in your post (@muriellebanackissa)

Also, one side note, if you want to watch the complete tutorial of how I made this recipe, head over to my Instagram stories.

Leek and Onion Jam

Leek and Onion Jam (Sweetened with Dates)

Prep time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Total time : 35 minutes
Yield : 1 cup


1 tsp avocado oil
1 large red onion, sliced (about 2 cups or 280g)
1 leek (white parts only), sliced (about 3 cups or 230g)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 medjool dates, chopped (1/3 cup packed or 80 g)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt plus more to taste


  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, red onion, and leek.

  2. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add garlic and dates and stir.

  4. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the onions have caramelized. Stir occasionally.

  5. Turn off the heat and add balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, pepper and salt.

  6. Enjoy on toasts with vegan cheese, in burgers, sandwiches or even in a mac and cheese.

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Leek and Onion Jam