Spotlight: Leeks

Leeks are members of the onion family, also related to garlic, shallots and scallions. Rather than being shaped in a bulb form like an onion, however, leeks grow in long cylinders that look like stems- these are in fact the edible parts of leaks. Although it can be used like an onion to flavor dishes, leeks can stand on their own as well, and be the main ingredients in recipes.

Health Benefits
Since leeks are in the same family as garlic and onions, they share many of the same health benefits. Leeks are particularly high in the flavonoid kaempferol and antioxidant polyphenols, which provide cardiovascular support by protecting our blood cells and vessel linings from damage. They also have high concentrations of vitamin K and the vitamin B folate, as well as calcium and vitamin C, which are the most highly concentrated in the bulb and lower leaves, but are also present in the upper leaves. Use as much of the leek as possible to maximize health benefits. [source]

Keep in crisper drawer of fridge- use after a couple days.

Preparation/Cleaning Instructions
An important step in preparing leeks is cleaning them well. Leeks can trap dirt and sand in their many layers. Remove the outer layer and trim roots off with knife. Also cut off dark green upper leaves. Wash under running water, pulling leaves apart to rinse in between. [source]

Flavor Friends, from The Flavor Bible
Butter, cheese (cheddar, goat, Gruyere, Parmesan), chicken, chives, cream, eggs (including hard boiled and egg dishes), fish, garlic, mustard, oil (corn, grapeseed, hazelnut, olive, peanut, vegetable), oregano, pepper (black, white), potatoes, salt, stocks (chicken, vegetable), tarragon, thyme, vinaigrette, wine (dry white, red)

Flavor Affinities, from The Flavor Bible
leeks + anchovies + garlic + olive oil
leeks + bacon + cream
leeks + cream + thyme
leeks + mustard + vinaigrette

Serving Tips
Although leaks can be used as you would onions or shallots, they can also stand on their own. Here are some ideas:
  • Grill them! This recipe suggests grilling leaks with lemon juice, salt and pepper, garlic, olive oil and basil. Or try this recipe that grills leaks with white wine vinegar and mint
  • Braised them! Cook leeks in a broth over medium heat until easily pierced by a knife, 15-20 minutes. Cook down broth, season and spoon over leeks. Find the recipe here.
  • Sautee them! Let sauteed leeks stand alone in this recipe, or for a more extravagant meal, try this recipe for sauteed leeks with chickpeas an pancetta.
  • Make a soup! Try this recipe for creamy leek and yogurt soup.

Featured Recipe
Quiche with Kale, Tomato and Leek
Ingredients from your share: kale, leeks, tomatoes.
Additional share items: eggs*, milk
You will also need: parmesan cheese, rosemary, salt, pepper
*This week, you can purchase eggs at Market Day if you don’t have an egg share*

Additional recipes
  • Leeks vinaigrette: steam leeks and then season with olive oil, mustard, white wine vinegar and salt and pepper.
  • Herb-Leek Tart: pair leeks with eggs, cream, gruyere cheese and herbs of your choice to make this tart.
  • Leek Gratin: cook leeks with heavy cream, cheese and slat and pepper for a gratin.
  • Baked Salmon Stuffed with Leeks: Leeks pair well with seafood, so try this recipe that pairs salmon and leeks.


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