Leeks are related to garlic and onions but have a much subtler, sweeter flavour. Leeks make a fantastically flavoursome vegetable side dish. Wonderful in a wide variety of recipes such as casseroles, omelettes and frittatas, risottos, quiches, pasta sauces and soups.
The leek is one vegetable that is at its best during the coldest months of the year, it’s packed with nutrients and lots of anti-oxidants which will help stave off those winter colds and flu.
The leek is a famous emblem of Wales. Legend has it that the Welsh adopted the vegetable as a national emblem in the seventh century when a Welsh army triumphed against the Saxons after wearing leeks in their hats to distinguish them from their enemy.
To Prepare leeks they need to be washed carefully to remove any grit trapped in their layers. Slice off the root end and the dark green tops. (don't chuck these, as they are great for adding to stocks.)
Halve the leeks lengthwise, and wash them under a running tap, fanning the layers and rinsing away any grit or soil trapped between them. Drain thoroughly then just slice as required.
CREAMY LEEKS AND SPINACH
Serve this as side dish to a herb roasted chicken dinner
3 large leeks
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g spinach, rinsed
200ml double cream
grating of nutmeg
Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the leeks and cook for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the cream and grating of nutmeg and simmer for 10 mins until reduced a little then stir in the garlic.
Meanwhile put the spinach into a separate pan and cover with lid, cook gently for 2 mins, until wilted, drain throughly in a colander squeezing out as much of the water as possible. Stir the spinach into the creamy leeks and season well, cooking for a further couple of mins to make sure it is heated through, before serving.
Try leeks in - Creamy Leek & Potato soup.