Thursday, March 26

Totally Leeking Out

Leeks are a popular vegetable here. Week after week I see grocery carts with bunches of leeks, produce departments with multiple displays of leeks. What is going on here? Clearly it's something I don't know. I've even asked my European insiders about this . . .this surprising popularity. They don't see it. They maintain leeks are leeks. I think they're too enmeshed to notice. Maybe if they came to the U.S. and saw how routinely leeks are disregarded, ignored and over looked they see what I see. A leek frenzy.

I saw my English friend at the grocery store and saw that she was buying leeks. I immediately asked her what she does with them and why. She told me she braised them with butter, salt and pepper . . . because they taste good. I tried it that night. She's right. They do taste good. Since then I buy a leek a week. 1 leek each week. I've used leeks in risotto and most recently in quiche. But now I'm stumped. What else can I do? Anyone have a leek friendly dish they care to share?

15 comments:

AudreyQ said...

I love leeks in risotto and quiche, but for the Feb quilt club I made my new leekalicious favorite - Leek and Goat Cheese Galette form Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Saute 6 large chopped leeks w/ 3 T butter, a t. chopped thyme, and 1/2 c water until leeks are tender about 12 mins. Add 1/2 c. white wine and cook til reduced, then add 1/2 c. cream. Cook until just a little liquid remains.
Season with salt and pepper and let cool. Stir in 1 T beaten egg and 2 T chopped parsley.

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Roll out galette dough - I use frozen puff pastry dough. Spread leek mixture on top leaving a 2-in border around the edge. Brush with rest of beaten egg and bake until crust is brown - 20-30 mins. remove and scatter 1 T parsley on top, and serve.

StoreyJohnsons in Sud Italia said...

My kids LOVE 'CockaLeekie' -- it's a chicken leek soup. I learned how to make it when we lived in Scotland. I can send you the recipe I use if you want or you could google it and find one that suits you. It's really delicious and uses LOTS of leeks! FYI - there are few to no leeks here in southern Italy. They are definitely a northern European thing.

jojoebi said...

leeks are popular here, leeks at home are short and fat, here they are long and thin! They are cheap too and all the local allotments grow them so we can buy them straight from the farmer.
My mom sautes them in a little butter then pours over cream and a generous amount of black pepper, let simmer for a while and serve with a roast dinner.
they are used a lot in japanese cooking, I generally just chop them up and throw them in with whatever I am cooking :o)

se7en said...

I use leeks all the time whenever I chop an onion I chop a leek as well! Also, we eat lots of leek and potato soup during winter... chop leeks, chop and peel potatoes, cover with chicken or vegi stock, a dollop of chopped garlic... boil away until everything is cooked to softness. Liquidize and you are done... to fancy pop in a couple of whole button mushrooms, that have been fried in butter, as you serve it.

Jennifer said...

Katy, have you met my tv boyfriend Alton Brown? http://www.foodnetwork.com/good-eats/sprung-a-leek/index.html

p.s. you still need to let me know what kind of machine you have.... I really do want to get you that free motion embroidery foot!

Chrissy said...

The best potato soup I ever had was Potato Leek Soup. Don't have a recipe...but it was delicious!

merathon said...

ditto to the potato leek soup, although i never peel my potatoes so that i keep all the good fiber that is in the peel! also, i toss leeks into vegetable soups and they're great!

Catherine said...

I'm simply amazed to learn that leeks are not popular in the States! I use them all the time, in soup (with potatoes, watercress, courgettes, chervil, in homemade stock with carrots and small pasta), as side vegetable with white fish (simply delicious with filet de sole and mashed potatoes), in quiche of course, and also in a very child-friendly recipe : cut the white pieces of the leeks, leaving them whole (use the green parts in a soup), then cook them in water. In the meantime, make a white sauce (bechamel). When leeks are cooked, roll them in slices of cooked ham, put the rolls in a dish than can go to the oven, then poor the bechamel on top, with some grated gruyère if wanted. Let in the oven until nice and brown, and serve with potatoes or mashed potatoes. A hit with kids!

Anonymous said...

You can use leek as a pizzatopping, or in a stew with white fish and (canned)tomatoes, eat with rice. I also use leek in almost every soup I make. It's very good with goatcheese and honey on a panini-sandwich

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

No leek recipes to share, but wanted to say I love your leek pics! I remember eating leeks for the first time as a child. My parents' friend was dating a French woman and she invited us all over for dinner and leeks were the center of attention. I just remember thinking it was so weird that the adults were all excited about them.

This Girl loves to Talk said...

oh my favourite leek recipe is a chicken,Ham and Leek Pie
link here
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/8031/chicken+ham+and+leek+pie

it is so easy (if you dont make the pastry... i dont)chicken, ham, leek and cream pretty much.. and yum

Tracy Giles said...

Potato Soup!
Peel and cut up a 5 pound bag of potatoes ( bite size pieces).
Put in a large pot just barely cover the potatoes with water ( add some salt). You can start cooking the potatoes.
Cut up 2 celery stalks, one onion, and one leek
Add to the pot and cook until tender, then add 1/2 stick of butter (let it melt).
Add 16 oz carton of cottage cheese and 16 oz carton of sour cream
Add salt, pepper and my personal favorite, dill seasoning to taste.

Andie said...

We love leeks. I make a leek and potato soup. I'd write my recipe except it is packed away at the moment. I think they are all pretty much the same though. I also do a really crusty home made bread to go along with it and its a GREAT dinner.

Sharna said...

I was new to leeks too until I tried this recipe from Real Simple. I just LOVED them!!!! http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/multigrain-pasta-sweet-potatoes-leeks-10000001699277/index.html

debra lynn said...

We make a leek, fennel and potato gratain. It has loads of cream, parmesean and yumminess. I just found your blog so if you're interested in the recipe, let me know! We make the raspberry strata as well!

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