Leeks

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.