Leeks are milder member of the onion and resemble over grown spring onions but the leaves are thick, flat and folded. They have a smooth texture and distinctive taste which makes an appetising side vegetable with or without a cream sauce. Leeks a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, as well as folate, copper, potassium and iron.
Storage: Keep in the fridge or a cool, dark place for 4-5 days. To keep other foods from absorbing their odour, lightly wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the bottom of the fridge. Do not trim or wash before storing.
General Use: Leeks can be eaten cooked or raw. Trim the roots and green tops leaving about 10 cm of green. Wash leeks before use. A good tip is to cut the leek lengthways, exposing all leaves. Then rinse under cold running water to remove any sand and grit.
Salad: Add finely sliced raw leeks (white ends only) for a tasty addition that adds a mild onion-type taste. Cooked cold leeks also makes an interesting addition to salads.
Fried: Fry leeks by heating a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add sliced leeks and cook gently for 5-10 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Baked: Placing the leeks in a glass casserole dish, sprinkling with shredded cheese, and baking at 190°C for 30 minutes. Add sea salt, pepper and any other spices your family enjoys for a little more flavour.
Braised: Put sliced leeks into heated skillet and pour over enough chicken or vegetable stock into a to cover. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat until tender. Dust the leeks with dried fennel, if desired. Great served with chicken, fish or steak.
Sautéed: Put sliced leeks in a skillet over medium heat with a few pinches of dried fennel, Sauté for 5-10 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add fresh lemon juice to garnish.
Soup: Sauté the leeks in a little olive oil until tender. Put the leeks in a pot and add 2 chop over-ripe pears, 2 chopped medium potatoes and 4 cups of stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Purée in a blender then reheat, stir in a cup of Greek yoghurt and pepper to taste. Serve with chives.