Perennial Vegetable – Allium Family
Late Summer > Cold Hardy over Winter Varieties
The tiny white flowers are beautiful as a garnish with a light oniony flavour profile.
I like to watch vegetables complete their full life cycle; I have always let a few leeks go to flower & seed.
Leeks ~ How to cut + cook + eat.
Leeks are a member of the Allium family – the onion family. They have a much milder and sweeter flavour than an onion. The long white bulb and the tender inner portion of the green tops are also edible. The dark blue-green tops – called the flag is tough and best used to flavour stocks and soups bases.
Leeks are high in fibre and essential vitamins + minerals.
CUT + WASH
Dirt collects around the layers where the flag top begins. Wash, rinse the whole leek then;
1 – Chop off the long blue-green flags & set them aside.
2 – Slice the top half of the leek lengthwise – leaving the white bottom uncut + as is.
3 – Wash between the layers of the cut top half – you can see where the soil has collected.
4 – Chop off the root end – also save for stock.
5 – Chop, slice or dice according to your recipe.
Use root end + top leaf flag tough for stock or add flavour to braises, stews & soups – discard before serving.
COOK + EAT
Saute medium-low heat with a splash of olive oil – I like to partially cover leeks to help draw out all those lovely sweet flavours – they will soften as and become juicier as they cook down – then proceed with your recipe.
Use this method when cooking leeks for soups, stews, quiches, pies, risottos, vegetables and warm salads.
Roast & Braises – long pieces of leeks soften & sweeten beautifully when braised – potatoes & leeks braised in apple cider are a firm favourite.
Wash – cut off top leaf flag. Spread trimmed leeks out on a dishtowel in a single layer, then roll up dish towel – store in your crisp fridge draw or put a towel in a bag or container in the fridge—store leaf flag with your stock scrap bag or compost.