I was psyched to get leeks. I like potato leek soup, but I realize I never make it and don’t really cook with leeks. Last year, I’m sure I braised or sauteed them. This year, I am determined to do more. So I did some research on the “poor man’s asparagus”. Here’s what you should know.
-We are going to be the healthiest bunch of people ever. Eating allium vegetables (leeks, onion, garlic) as little as two times a week is associated with a reduced risk of prostate and colon cancer.
-The ancient Romans and Greeks believed the leek had beneficial effects on the throat. The Roman emperor Nero supposedly ate leeks every day for a strong voice.
-Leeks should be firm and straight with dark green leaves and white necks. Look for a diameter of 1 1/2 inches or less.
-Unwashed untrimmed leeks can be stored in the fridge for one to two weeks. Wrap them loosely in a plastic bag to help retain moisture.
Some serving suggestions:
- Healthy sauté leeks and fennel. Garnish with fresh lemon juice and thyme.
- Add finely chopped leeks to salads.
- Make vichyssoise, a cold soup made from puréed cooked leeks and potatoes.
- Add leeks to broth and stews for extra flavoring.
- Braised leeks sprinkled with fennel or mustard seeds makes a wonderful side dish for fish, poultry or steak.
- Add sliced leeks to your favorite omelet or frittata recipe.