Sliced Leeks photo by Michelle R.
Fresh leek storage: They can spread their special fresh oniony smell around, so keep in plastic bag in the fridge. Don't trim or wash before storing, it makes them break down faster. BUT if space is at a premium, you can chop off the dark green stem part before storing them, I often do this to save space in the fridge! -julia
Pat's Baby Leeks
I lightly braise them in a skillet in a little water. Then, while they are hot, I put them on a platter, dress them in a good vinaigrette and crumble some sheep feta on top with cracked pepper. This is one of my 11 year-old's favorite foods. I learned the recipe in France, where leeks are the poor man's asparagus.
adapted from Ten Minute Cuisine by Green & Moine
In a wok, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 2 shredded leeks and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves. Add cooked noodles of any shape (about 1 pound when uncooked) and stir-fry until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Turnip or Rutabaga Puree with Leeks
from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
1 small potato, peeled
2 pounds turnips and or rutabagas, thickly peeled
2 medium chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 garlic clove or 1 stalk green garlic, chopped
salt and pepper
2 T or more cream, buttermilk, or milk
2 T butter
2 t chopped thyme
Chop the potato and turnips the same size. If using rutabagas, chop them about half tghe size of the potato. Put the vegetables, leeks, and garlic in a pot with cold water just to cover, add ½ t salt, and simmer, partially covered, until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.
Mash the vegetables with a fork for a rough-textured puree or pass them through a food mill. Add 2 T or more cream or reserved broth to thin the puree. Stir in the butter and thyme and season with S and P to taste.
Variations: Stir 1 cup grated gruyere cheese into the puree. Or simmer the vegetables in milk instead of water. Add a Tablespoon of roasted garlic and a teaspoon finely chopped rosemary to the puree. Or enrich the puree with a little creme fraiche and stir in 1 cup watercress sprigs that have been blanched briefly in boiling water, then finely chopped.
1/2 pound smoked sausage
1/4 olive oil or butter
3 cups cleaned, chopped leeks
3 tablespoons chopped herbal celery or parsley
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk or half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
S & P to taste
Slice or cut the sausage into thin slices. Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the sausage, heat and stir for 3-4 minutes add the chopped leeks, heat and stir for 5 minutes. Add the celery/parsley, stir add the chicken broth bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender or in a food processor. Return to the pot and place over a low flame; stir in milk and gradually stir in the grated cheese. Season to taste with S & P and serve hot.
Fish Braised with Leeks
Adapted from the minimalist cooks dinner by Mark Bittman
1 ½ pounds leeks, trimmed, chopped, and washed (could include any spring garlic or spring shallots you have sitting around…)
½ cup white wine or chicken or fish stock
S & P to taste
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional
About 1.5 # cod, salmon, or other fish fillet, about 1 inch thick
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Scatter the leeks over the bottom nof an ovenproof casserole. Mix with the wine, S &P, and optional mustard. Top with the fish; sprinkle the fish with S & P. Cover the casserole.
2. Bake for 10-15 min., or until a thin-bladed knife meets little or no resistance when inserted into the thickest part of the fish. Uncover and serve the fish with the leeks and pan juices spooned over it. Serves 4
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
4 medium to large leeks, well rinsed, dried, sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup crème fraiche or yogurt or Mexican ‘crema’ or milk
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon rind
Pinch dried oregano
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
S & P to taste
1 cup grated Monterey Jack or other nicely melting cheese
In a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet, sauté the leeks in 1 T of each butter and olive oil until soft and beginning to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon. Beat eggs with cream (or milk) and seasonings. Stir in the leeks. Melt the remaining butter with the remaining olive oil in the pan and pour in the egg mixture. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until underside is golden. Sprinkle cheese on top and place under the broiler for a few minutes until the frittata puffs and browns. Cut into wedges and serve.
Leek and Sorrel Pancakes with Smoked Salmon
adapted from Big Oven.com
1/4 c Unsalted butter; (1/2 stick)
4 c Chopped leeks; (cleaned and chopped)
2 c Sorrel or spinach; washed
4 oz Smoked salmon; (4 to 8)
Sour cream; for garnish
1/4 c All-purpose flour
Chopped chives; for garnish
Heat saute pan over medium-high heat. Add butter when pan is hot. After butter melts, add leeks and saute until tender but not brown. Add sorrel; cook briefly to wilt sorrel. Remove from heat; let cool. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add flour; whisk until smooth. Add cooled leek mixture. Heat griddle over medium-high heat. Film with oil. When oil is hot, drop about 2 tablespoons batter for each pancake on griddle. Cook until brown. Turn and continue to cook until brown on other side. Remove from griddle and top with salmon, sour cream and chives. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 to 10 appetizer servings.
Lemony Leek Soup
adapted from Recipes from a Kitchen Garden by Shepherd et al
1 T butter
2 T vegetable oil
6 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (I would use fennel here if it’s what was in my fridge)
6 cups chicken stock
1 T grated lemon zest
2 T lemon juice
2 t fresh marjoram or 1 t dried
1 T chopped parsley
1/4 cup rice
1/2 cup milk
S & white pepper to taste
garnish: sour cream or yogurt
3 T minced chives
In a 4-5 quart saucepan, heat butter and oil, add leeks, carrot and celery and saute until softened. Add stock, lemon rind, lemon juice, marjoram, parsley and rice and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Puree in a blender (or with a stick blender) or food processor. Pour mixture back into pan; add milk, & S & P to taste. If soup is too thick add more milk or stock. Heat soup through, but do not boil. Serve hot or cold, sprinkled with chives and dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Serves 6-8
Aromatic Leek and Potato Soup
from Almost Vegetarian by Diana Shaw
4 large boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 large leeks, cut in half, cleaned, and sliced into long, thin strips
4 cups (1 quart) water
1 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup low fat or nonfat plain yogurt, whisked until light and thin
S & P to taste
1 cup minced fresh herbs: parsley, chives, cilantro, chervil, dill, or a mixture
In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, leeks, and water. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, cover, and turn the heat down to med-low. Simmer until the potatoes are tender enough to cut with a spoon, and the leeks are equally soft. This should take about 40 minutes. In a blender or food processor (or julia’s favorite: with an immersion blender!), puree the vegetables in the cooking water, doing this in batches if necessary, then return to the saucepan if you’re not using an immersion blender. Add the buttermilk or yogurt, and heat hte soup slowly over low heat, uncovered, until just warmed through. Season with S & P, and serve warm, sprinkled with the fresh herbs. Or, chill the soup, covered, and serve it cold. Serves 4. Per serving: 260 calories using non fat yogurt, fat .7 grams, protein 6.2 grams. I don’t know the fiber.
adapted from Almost Vegetarian by Diana Shaw serves 4-6
1 lemon (or 2 small)
3 cups broth: vegetable or chicken
1 large leek, white & green part, cleaned and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 T butter, unsalted
2 shallots, minced
1 T chopped parsley
1 cup arborio rice
2 T white wine
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Halve and juice the lemon and remove the zest with a vegetable peeler. Leave half the zest in strips and mince the rest. Set aside the juice and the minced zest.
Place the strips of zest in a saucepan with the broth, leek, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, then cover and simmer gently over low heat for 30 minutes.
Stain the broth through a sieve, discard the leek and bay leaf, and pour it back into the saucepan. Cover and bring it back to a gentle simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan melt the butter. Saute the shallots, parsley, and minced lemon zest over med-low heat until the shallots are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it’s just about evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and lemon juice, turn up the heat, and stir until it’s just about evaporated, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat.
Using a ladle, add about 1 C hot broth. Stir constantly over med heat until the broth has been absorbed. Add another ladleful of broth and keep stirring until it’s been absorbed.
Continue the process, adding broth a half cupful at a time and stirring in this way, until the kernels are plump and no longer chalk white in the center. This should take 25 to 30 minutes altogether. The rice is almost done when the kernels are still separate but starting to bind and there are pools of broth on the surface. It’s done when the liquid has been absorbed, and the kernels are bound in what looks like very ricey, yet somewhat creamy, rice pudding.
When the risotto is nearly done, stir in 2 T more broth, along with the Parmesan cheese, and stir well until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.
Calories per serving: 179; protein: 6 grams; fat: 3.4 grams. I don’t know the fiber.
Risotto with Beet Greens and Leeks
Recipe from Cooking Light March 20016 servings
5 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups coarsely chopped beet greens
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 lemon wedges
Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, saute 4 minute or until tender. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; stir in greens. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of the broth is absorbed before adding the next portion (about 25 minutes). Stir in cheese and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.
Soft Polenta with Leeks
3 tablespoons butter
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
2 1/4 cups (or more) water
2 cups canned chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup polenta
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Cover and cook until leeks soften, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups water, broth and bay leaf.
Bring to boil. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until mixture is thick and creamy, stirring often and thinning with more water if necessary, about 35 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and Parmesan cheese. Season polenta to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide polenta among plates. Serves 4. adapted from Bon Appétit
Nancy’s leek recipe
There is a leek w/ polenta recipe in epicurious.com that is fantastic! (see above)I only had polenta once before, and loved it....but I didn't know what to do with those beautiful leeks (since then, I've learned to use them in just about everything) so I picked up a bag of quick cook polenta in Nob Hill and used my own chicken broth (vegetable broth will work too). Even the kids will like it-I'm sure. It is amazingly delicious!! I took the leftovers and formed it in a square, then cut that square into smaller ones and pseudo fried the squares in a Tbs. or so of butter and melted some imported provolone on top. Tonight I just nuked the remainder w/ some camembert on top-yummmmmy I'm letting you know this because I really didn't know anything about cooking leeks OR polenta and what a combo!
Black-Eyed Peas and Greens with Leeks
from Still Life with Menu Cookbook Serves 6
3C dried black-eyed peas
6 medium-sized cloves garlic minced
1 1/2t salt
6-8 C Chopped mixed greens
2 medium leeks cleaned well and chopped
1. Place the black-eyed peas and water in a very large soup pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, mostly covered, (leave an air vent). Cook gently until
tender, checking the water level every now and then. If it appears to be getting dry, add water, 1/2C at a time. About 15 minutes into the cooking, add the
garlic. The peas will take 30-35 minutes to cook.
2. When the peas are just about tender, stir in salt, greens and the leeks. Cover and continue to simmer just a few more minutes. (The greens and leeks will cook very fast).
3. Season to taste with pepper and serve hot.
From The Daily News, 1/13/99: "In ancient Egypt, leeks and onions were adored as gods, and the Israelites lamented the leeks they left behind when they fled Egypt. They are a national symbol in Wales.
Leeks are rich in allicin, an organosulfur compound that has been shown to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells, including breast, endometrial, and colon cancer cells. Leeks also contain calcium, iron, vitamin C, and fiber.
above: baby leeks
right: Lourdes & baby ram Alfonso with leeks
BROILED LEEKS WITH BUTTERED BREAD CRUMBS
|leeks (about 1 1/2 pounds)
fine dry bread crumbs
Trim leeks and discard most of dark-green parts. Cut leeks in half lengthwise and wash well, keeping halves intact. Steam leeks 15 minutes, or until tender. Arrange leeks, cut sides up, on a buttered baking sheet.
Preheat broiler. In a small saucepan melt butter and stir in bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon bread crumb mixture onto leeks, patting down mixture with back of spoon to help adhere. Broil leeks 2 to 3 inches from heat until bread crumbs are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serves 2 as a side dish.
Gourmet, January 1999
CREAMY WHITE BEAN SOUP WITH LEEKS
|(19-ounce) white beans, rinsed well in a sieve
fresh tarragon or 2 pinches dried
thinly sliced washed white and pale green part of leek
dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
fresh lemon juice
In a blender puree the beans in batches with the tarragon and the broth and strain the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids. In a large saucepan cook the leek, the garlic, and the red pepper flakes in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the leek is softened and begins to turn golden. Add the puree, the half-and-half, the lemon juice, and salt to taste and simmer the soup, stirring, for 5 minutes. adapted from Gourmet
MUSHROOM AND LEEK SOUP
dry white wine
(14 1/2-ounce) chicken broth
chopped fresh chives
Cut leeks into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. In a large bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a colander to drain. Thinly slice mushrooms. In a 3-quart saucepan heat butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides and saute leeks, stirring, 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown. Add wine and boil 1 minute. Add broth and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 2 minutes. Serve soup sprinkled with chives. Makes about 3 cups, serving 2. Gourmet, November 1998
POTATO, LEEK AND FENNEL SOUP
The fennel is the special flavor in this soup.
|(1/4 stick) butter
sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
sliced fennel bulb, fronds reserved for garnish
(14 1/2-ounce) low-salt chicken broth
red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and fennel and saute until leeks are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add broth and potatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer soup until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return to same pot. Rewarm soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with reserved fennel fronds and serve. Serves 8. Bon Apetit
LEEKS WITH SHALLOT CAPER VINAIGRETTE
|4 sm to med
1 1/2 tsp.
|leeks (about 1 pound untrimmed)
Sherry vinegar* or white-wine vinegar, or to taste
extra-virgin olive oil
drained capers, chopped fine
minced fresh parsley leaves
Trim leeks to about 5 inches and trim root ends, leaving them intact. Cut each leek in half lengthwise and wash well, discarding any tough outer leaves. In a skillet just large enough to hold them in one layer arrange leek halves, cut sides down, and add enough water to reach halfway up sides of leeks. Simmer leeks, covered, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes, and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice and cold water. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, shallot, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste and add oil in a stream, whisking. Whisk vinaigrette until emulsified and whisk in capers and parsley. Transfer leeks to paper towels. Pat and gently squeeze leeks until dry and divide between 2 plates. Spoon vinaigrette over each serving. Gourmet
ORZO PILAF WITH MUSHROOMS, LEEKS AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES
Regular button mushrooms are a nice substitute for the portobellos in this side dish.
1 1/2 cups
|Nonstick vegetable oil spray
canned low-salt chicken broth
chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
portobello mushrooms, stemmed, diced
sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
freshly cooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 1 1/3 cups uncooked)
chopped fresh basil
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Bring broth and tomatoes just to boil in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, leeks and garlic. Cover skillet and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in cooked orzo, basil, vinegar, tomatoes and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared dish; cover with foil. Bake pilaf until heated through, about 40 minutes. Serve hot. Bon Appetit
BRAISED LEEKS WITH LEMON
|4 sm - med
|leeks, tough outer leaves discarded and leeks trimmed
to about 7 inches long and cut lengthwise into quarters
freshly grated lemon zest
In a shallow dish soak leeks in cold water to cover 15 minutes, rubbing occasionally to remove any grit. In a heavy skillet melt butter over moderate heat. lift leeks out of the water and with water still clinging to them add to skillet. Cook leeks, stirring occasionally, five minutes and add broth and zest. Braise leeks, covered, 5 minutes, or until very tender, and season with salt and pepper. Gourmet
VEGETABLE AND LEEK SOUP
1 1/4 cup
|finely chopped white and pale green part of leek,
spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, snow peas, turnips, favabeans, green beans, etc. (pick one)
In a saucepan cook the leek and the garlic in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the leek is softened, add the chosen vegetable, the broth, and 1/2 cup water, and simmer the mixture, covered,until the vegetable is tender. Puree two thirds of the mixture in a blender until it is very smooth, stir the puree into the mixture remaining in the pan, and whisk in the sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Cook the soup over moderately low heat until it is heated through, but do not let it boil.
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