Cooking On A Budget: Leeks

Monday, May 27, 2013

Leeks

Yum
Leeks belong to the same plant family as onions and garlic. They have a mild onion like taste. Above the root and stem base are the edible parts of the leek - from the white base up to the lighter green parts. You could also use some of the darker green parts as well. I tend to trim off about 1/2 to 1 inch from the top. A popular use of the leeks is to impart flavors to stocks, whether it's a vegetable, chicken, beef or veal stock.

We were lucky to have a local grower who has befriended my husband as a fellow gardener and he gave him some leek plants. I believe there is about 14 leeks total. Each plant produces one "sheath" (as it is called) of leek. Here below is a photograph showing the tiny leek plants.

We should be able to harvest leeks in the fall months and we were told that they freeze well.
  1. So to prepare leeks for freezing, you need to cut off the darker green top as I have already explained. Prepare a sink with some cold water.
  2. Split the sheath from the top toward the base. Open up the leaves and swish in the cold water to remove any dirt or hidden insects.
  3. Slice the leeks as if you were preparing them for a fresh application.
  4. Spread them out on a sheet pan in a single layer and freeze them.
  5. When frozen, take the leeks and place them in freezer bags or small rigid plastic containers and keep in the freezer until you are ready to use.
  6. They last 10 to 12 months when frozen at 0° F.
What a wonderful way to have leeks available at a moment's notice!

A Potato Leek Soup recipe is here on my blog if you would like to try it.


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