Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leeks: A great side dish

Yesterday, my husband decided he wanted to pick a few leeks from our garden. He loves the taste of leeks and wanted to see if they were ready to harvest. We planted them in the fall and they have gotten so big and are now beginning to flower.

It took a shovel and some muscle because they were really big and the roots didn't want to let go. The photo above, was taken after he had washed the dirt from the roots.

Above, the roots had been removed and they are ready for washing.

I always cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then under clear running water, I take them apart, layer by layer and wash all the dirt from each layer. This must be done because dirt and sand sometimes collects -- even down in the bulb. They are similar to onions because both have layers, yet in an onion, dirt doesn't usually collect in the layers, just on the outside. Leeks are more open and they take more cleaning to remove the grit.

After each layer is carefully washed, I chop the leeks, using the bulbs and the greens, as long as they are tender. Following the careful washing, I chop them into pieces.

I then pour the chopped leeks into a pan with about two tablespoons of oil, heated to medium high and begin to stir. If the pan gets too hot and the leeks begin to get too brown, the heat is too high. I usually turn it down when I see it is really cooking and turn it down again when it is almost finished -- usually to low.

Leeks are done when they are a bit translucent. Some light browning will add to the flavor. I finish on low and serve as a vegetable side dish.

Leeks are also good in soup stock and in stir-frys. I often chop them up and freeze them and then take out what I need.

They are very mild and a person who might have trouble digesting onions and garlic is less likely to have trouble with leeks. Leeks are also a healthy choice because they are high in fiber and can provide similar health benefits to onions. They don't cause your breath to smell like onions and garlic, so that is a major plus.

You will have to use more leeks than onions when cooking with them, because leeks cook down more than onions.

My family really loves it when I cook leeks, making them great to grow in our home garden, not too much work for the good benefits received.

2 comments:

  1. I love your photos - those leeks look so full! And they are so good for you, health-wise. Thanks for sharing, Joanie

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  2. good~ keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice day........................................

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