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Published on March 10, 2016

Leeks

March 10, 2016

Leeks

Farm Market/Growing Season:
Fall-Winter

Buying Tips:
Look for leeks that still have the root attached, appear crisp and rich in color. Avoid leeks with leaves which appear yellow, split, or wilted.

Storage:
Wrap unwashed leeks loosely in a plastic bag and store in the vegetable bin in the refrigerator. They will keep for at least a week.

Preparation:
Cut about 1 inch above the white part, where the leaves begin to change from dark to light green.
Slit lengthwise and soak it in lukewarm water for up to 15 minutes.
Fan the leaves under running water to dislodge any dirt collected there, and then pat thoroughly dry.

You can use slimmer leeks raw in salads, sautee to use in stews, or braise them to give an onion flavor to your favorite dishes.

Key Nutrients:
Leeks are high in many vitamins (Vitamin A and folate), minerals (potassium and iron), and phytonutrients.

Complementary Flavors:
Curry spices, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, lemon, olive oil, peanut oil, tamari, capers, celery, barley, olives, potatoes and scallions.


Rosemary Carrot Soup

This soup is sweet and savory – delicious hot or cold.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 lb carrots, scrubbed and diced
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, about 3 to 4 inches in length
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 qt stock (chicken, vegetable or corn cob)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large stockpot. 
  2. Sauté onions with a pinch of sea salt. 
  3. When onions begin to soften, add leeks with an additional pinch of sea salt. 
  4. Cook until sweat or softens. 
  5. Add carrots and spices. Cook briefly and add stock. 
  6. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking until tender - about 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  7. Remove from heat. Discard rosemary and bay leaf, purée until smooth. 
  8. Add additional water if needed and adjust seasonings.

Garnish Suggestions

  • Polenta croutons – cube polenta, lightly oil and salt. Lay in single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in a 425o oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until crisp.
  • Cornbread biscotti
  • Dollop of yogurt cheese, sweetened with a bit of maple syrup and fresh ginger.

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