From the blog: Eating from the ground up
Let’s talk about leeks. Yes, fancy fancy leeks.
I know that you know how lovely leeks are in your soup, how you must put them in your stock, and really anything else. But what do you think about a little leek salad?
Alice Waters urges us to turn to leeks “in the cold months, when lettuce is scarce.” It is cold, and lettuce is scarce! She tells me that they make “a bright winter salad.”
And so they do. Leeks are related to onions, and so boiling and tossing them with a vinaigrette might seem out of character, but I can assure you that it is a very good idea. The leeks turn a bright spring green, and the richness of their flavor has the most wonderful conversation with the strong mustard vinaigrette.
From the Blog: Simple Bites:
By far the most underestimated of all winter vegetables is the leek.They usually get lost in the respectable, yet predictable Vichyssoise, but this cousin of the onion is capable of so much more.
From Humble Beginnings to Show Stoppers
Once dubbed “Poor-man’s Asparagus”, the leek needs only some slow braising or gentle grilling to bring out its sweet yet complex flavor. The leek should not be considered merely an add-in, because it can stand up very well on its own in a variety of side dishes.
The subtle onion flavor of the leek lends itself well to pairing with fish and seafood.
Like most vegetables, it is best to buy leeks only as needed; however, if you need to store them for a few days, keep them in the crisper drawer of the fridge.
Leeks can be quite sandy, so careful washing is important. Here’s how to properly clean a whole leek.
- Start by removing the outer layer of white (unless it is very fresh or from your own garden).
- Trim the base with a sharp paring knife to remove all the roots.
- Make an incision in the middle of the white stalk and cut toward the green tips, severing the leek in two, but with the bottom still intact.
- Wash well under cold running water, pulling the leaves apart to rinse well between them.
- Drain, green tips down, in a colander for a few minutes.
If the recipe calls for chopped leeks, it is best to chop them and then wash under cold running water. Allow to drain well before using.
Roasting or braising brings out the best flavors in leeks and simple grilling is a great option as well.