Related to the onion with a more delicate and sweeter flavor

Season - Peaks in the early spring and fall

Selection - Choose firm, straight leeks with dark green leaves and a diameter of 1½“ or less Avoid yellowed, wilted, cracked, or bruised

Flavor complements - Lemon juice, thyme, mustard seed, fennel, garlic, add to broths, stews, and salads Storage - Store unwashed and untrimmed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks wrapped loosely in a plastic bag to retain moisture. Store cooked leeks only 2 days in refrigerator.

Freeze after blanching for 2-3 minutes. Will freeze up to 3 months, but will lose some desired taste and texture.

Preparation for cooking - Clean thoroughly to remove soil caught between overlapping layers. Trim rootlets and green tops. Remove outer tough leaves leaving bulb and lower leaf portion.

Make lengthwise cut, fold open, and run under cool water. For cross sections, cut into desired pieces, place in colander, and run under cool water.

Braised Salmon with Leeks

Servings 4, Prep and Cook Time: 25 minutes

2 medium leeks cut lengthwise
1 tb chicken or vegetable broth + ½ cup
1 tb fresh tarragon chopped
1½ lbs salmon fillet, cut into 8 pieces, skin and bones removed
1 tb fresh lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste

  1. Clean and trim leeks according to directions above. Cut into 2 inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise ending up with thin strips, known as chiffonade cut. Make very thin slices. Let leeks and garlic sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon broth in 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet. Sauté leeks over medium heat in broth for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add ½ cup broth, lemon juice and simmer for another 5 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
  3. Rub salmon with a little fresh lemon juice, salt and white pepper
  4. Stir fresh tarragon, salt and pepper into leeks, and place salmon on top of leeks. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes, covered, or until salmon is pink inside. Time may vary depending on salmon thickness. Serve leeks topped with salmon, drizzle with juice.

Per serving: 390 calories, 39g protein, 8g carbohydrates, 21g fat, 4g saturated fat, 110mg cholesterol, 1g fiber, 220mg sodium, 17% Daily Value* Vitamin A, 24% Vitamin C, 6% Calcium, 10% Iron. *Based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sources: www.whfoods.com

Leek and Onion Tart - Serves 4 - Time to Prepare: 40 minutes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces leeks, washed thoroughly, sliced thinly, white and pale green portions only
1 white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 cups self-rising flour
½ cup shortening, such as Crisco
2/3 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a pan and sauté the leeks and onions until soft. Season well. Mix the flour, shortening, and water together in a bowl to make a soft but sticky dough. Mix into leek and onion mixture in the pan. Place in a greased shallow ovenproof dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

Herbed Leek Gratin - Serves 6 - Time to Prepare: 55 minutes

3 pounds slender leeks
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons snipped fresh marjoram or 1-½ teaspoons dried marjoram, crushed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-½ cups soft French or Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Fresh marjoram sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Trim roots off leeks, leaving pieces 4 to 5 inches long with white and pale green parts. Cut leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse leeks thoroughly under cold running water; pat dry with paper towels. Arrange leeks, cut sides down, in a greased 2-quart au gratin dish or rectangular baking dish, overlapping leeks as necessary to fit. (Leeks should all be facing the same direction).

In a small bowl, combine whipping cream and chicken broth; pour over leeks. Sprinkle with half of the snipped or dried marjoram, salt, and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and remaining snipped or dried marjoram. Drizzle with melted butter; toss to coat. Sprinkle leeks with bread crumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes more or until leeks are tender and crumbs are golden brown. If desired, garnish with fresh marjoram sprigs.