This aromatic vegetable has long white and green leaf sheaths and is related to onions, garlic and chives. The flavour of the leek is reminiscent of onion, but a lot milder. The largest section of the leek grows underground and is therefore white. A lot of people believe that the green part of the leek is not edible, but the green leaves are actually the most flavoursome and contain a lot of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Leeks are also an important source of vitamin C and folic acid, ideal for a healthy diet and, in turn, ideal for those who are conscious of their cholesterol levels
Leek is sold all year round. Winter leeks are thicker and sturdier and have dark, grey-green leaves. Summer leeks are thinner, longer and finer. They have pale green leaves and are available until the autumn.
How To Choose
Leeks must be firm when you buy them. They should not bend and the leaves should look fresh and green. If the outer sheaths are dried or ripped, the leek is old and should not be bought.
How To Prepare
Chopping and cleaning leeks is not difficult. Whole leeks can be kept for much longer than ready chopped leek. Trim off the small roots at the bottom. Also cut off the top section of the leaves. You may want to remove the outer, yellowy sheath. Use both the white and green sections of the leaves. Cut the leek in half lengthwise and rinse away any soil in between the leaves under running water. Allow to drain, cut into rings or pieces or chop finely according to your recipe.
Leek can be eaten raw or cooked. Leek works very well with a vinaigrette or creamy sauce. The potato is another great friend of the leek. Leek is delicious in stir-fries, stews and casseroles and is an ideal side dish. You can also make a leek pie or tasty winter leek soup. If you find the taste of onions too sharp, try replacing them with leek. After rinsing, always boil the wet leek without adding much water. There will be plenty of moisture seeping from the leek as it cooks, so adding extra water is often unnecessary.
- Leek adds a great kick to pies.
- Leek is delicious with tomatoes and mushrooms in pasta dishes that are heart health-conscious.
- Make a simple leek casserole with a layer of seasoned, broken up, fried minced beef, a layer of leek that was boiled until crisp-tender and a layer of potato mash. Place in the oven at 200 °C for 20 minutes and serve!
• Boiling: five to 10 minutes (stir regularly)
• Sautéing: approx. five to seven minutes
• Stir-frying: approx. five minutes
How To Store
Winter leek can be kept for two to three weeks in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Summer leek has a softer structure and expires slightly more quickly: it will keep for one to two weeks in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. The quality and flavour of ready chopped leek will quickly deteriorate. Do not keep chopped leek for more than a day in the refrigerator.
Leek shrinks significantly when cooked, so use 400-500 g per person.
- 29 kcal,
- 1 g protein,
- 3 g fat,
- 4 g carbohydrate, and
- 3 g dietary fibre.
If you’re looking for tasty recipes that have your heart health in mind, be sure to take a look at Flora’s selection of healthy recipes.