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Leek 101

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Leek 101

Leeks are originally from central Asia, the leek is a vegetable with a delicate and subtle flavor, milder and sweeter that the onion.

BUYING LEEK

Choose: Straight, firm, intact leeks, without any brown spots, and with leaves that are a deep green.

Avoid: Leeks with a cracked or swollen base, or with dehydrated or discolored leaves.

 

STORING LEEK

At Room Temperature: 1-3 months, unwashed, in a cool place with a humidity level of 90% to 95%.

In the Fridge: Raw, about 2 weeks

In the Freezer: 3 months, whole (blanch 2 minutes before freezing) or sliced. Cook without defrosting for better flavor.

 

PREPARING LEEK

Clean the leek carefully

  1. Remove outer leaves if they are no longer fresh.
  2. Remove the part of the root with threads attached as well as the top part of the leaves.
  3. Make a slight lengthwise incision into the leek down to ¾ to 1 ¼ inches from the base.
  4. Spread the leaves apart and wash them carefully in cold water and drain.

 

COOKING LEEK

Leeks only need a short amount of cooking time. Choose leeks of the same thickness for even cooking.

Boiled: Whole or split, 15-20 minutes; sliced 20-25 minutes

Baked or braised: 25-35 minutes

Sautéed: 3-5 minutes

Stewed: 10-15 minutes

 

SERVING IDEAS FOR LEEK

Leek is eaten raw or cooked. It is often used raw in salads, finely chopped. Cooked leek is prepared in the same way as asparagus. It is excellent with vinaigrette, cream and potatoes. Leek works very well cooked with veal, ham and cheese; it combines well with lemon, basil, sage, thyme, and mustard.

Its leaves are used to flavor stocks and stews, and can be used in place of chives or shallot. The white of the leek is used to flavor court bouillons and cooking juices.

 

DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that leek is an excellent source of folic acid? And leek is used to cleanse the digestive system.

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