Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Leeks: They have a milder, sweeter flavour than onions and a smooth texture similar to asparagus. In fact, in France leeks are often called the 'poor man's asparagus'. (via British Leeks)

I'm new to leeks. I don't remember eating them while growing up...or really ever until I moved to the UK, but my husband ate them all the time in his home. While looking for an image of leeks, I even came across a website called British Leeks. So, I think it's safe to say they are a very popular vegetable in this country! I can see why too. They are one of my favorites. I've only cooked them two ways so far (as side dishes), but I'll share what I know!

Firstly, the edible part of leeks are the white onion looking part and the light green stalk. So cut off the root and most of the dark green stalk. Then rinse well. You can cut them anyway you like - I usually cut them into 1-2cm or so type circles or rings.

The friendly British Leeks site (seriously, a whole site dedicated to this vegetable?) explains the various ways of cooking leeks so well. I've just copied their words for what I do.

Pan fried/ Sauteed - heat a small amount of olive oil and butter in a frying pan, add some sliced leeks and gently cook for about 5-10 minutes until tender. (I let them get a tinsy bit of brown on them + add sea salt.)

Roasted - pour some olive oil into a roasting tray and add leeks, making sure they are coated all over. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and roast in the oven (400 F ) for 30 minutes

There a ton of recipes that incorporate leeks into the actual dish, but so far I have mostly just stuck to eating them as a side dish to fish, chicken, or macaroni and cheese (and the like). I think seasoning them with sea salt is key. If you like salmon, this looks like an easy recipe to try. I will substitute with a white fish as I'm not a salmon fan. I'd also like to try Mashed Potatoes with Leeks and Sour Cream sometime.

Try them as your next side vegetable dish and see if you like them!


Missy said...

Thank you Lindsey! These look fabulous. Would you liken the taste to an onion then? How interesting. I'm totally going to try it and what kind of dishes do you usually make it as the side? Does it even matter?

Lindsey said...

They are kind of like an onion-type veggie. Alan said his mom used to substitute them for onions sometimes, but I have never done that yet.

I usually just make the leeks by themselves as the side (pan-fried or roasted + tiny bit of sea salt) and then serve them as the solo veggie to pretty plain meals like pastas, fish and chicken dishes. Let me know what you think of them!

Meggan said...

I'm nervous to eat these if they taste like onions, but I love asparagus!

I'll let you know.