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.






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