Related to onions and scallions, leeks are a surprising mild vegetable that is great as a side dish or in a soup. They look like extra-large scallions: white bulb and green leafy tops. With a few quick tips, leeks are an easy and sophisticated addition to any dinner.
Leeks are available year-round at the grocery store but are considered in season beginning in September and throughout the winter. Look for leeks that are shaped more like a cylinder rather than with a rounded bulb, and choose ones that are no larger than one and one-half inches in diameter. The larger leeks can be less tender. Store your leeks unwashed and well wrapped in the refrigerator as their odor can contaminate other foods. Uncooked leeks will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. It is important when preparing leeks to wash them thoroughly as dirt may get trapped in the layers of the vegetable. Trim the roots and some of the green tops, especially any that feel overly “woody.” There is no need to cut all of the green off as it cooks well and is delicious to eat. Cut and cook according to your recipe. Cooked leeks will last a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Leeks can be sautéed like onions and added to any number of other vegetables or as a garnish to pork loin or beef. They are especially good when chopped and sautéed and added to mashed potatoes. There are many potatoes. and leek soup recipes, so look around for one that fits your family’s dietary needs and taste.
Leeks are low calorie and are a good source of vitamin C, iron, manganese, vitamin B6 and folate.