Friday, June 28, 2013

Lovin' Lynn's Leeks

I grew up eating leeks.
Having a French mom who was also a fabulous cook,
we often ate stuff that other folks never heard of.
I'm convinced that my dislike of meat 
came from the times Mimi had us eating parts of animals 
that couldn't be seen with the naked eye.
It comes from having lived through the war in France,
when every part of the animal needed to be utilized.

But, in this case, a novel ingredient is not such a bad thing.
Leeks are in the allium family,
although I find their flavor a bit milder than some types of onions.
They can be used in any recipe calling for onions or garlic.

Faye and Lynn grow some amazing specimens.

Wouldya look at the size of these babies?
Oh, so gorgeous!

Mighty handsome looking.
And they taste as good as they look!

Here's how we go about preparing these lovelies.
Split the leek right down the middle lengthwise,
leaving the root intact.

The white part near the root is the sweetest and most tender,
but we eat some of the green too.

When you purchase them at the grocery,
they are usually loaded with dirt or sand.
These are relatively clean and just need a quick rinse.

Alternatively, some folks drop the sliced leek into a bowl of water
so that the sand or dirt sinks to the bottom.
We didn't find it necessary.

This came from only one leek!

Sauteing in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil and salt
will start you on the path to one delicious soup.
Just add water or vegetable stock to cover 
and simmer for 20 minutes.
Sometimes we add potatoes, carrots or a bit of plain rice milk
to change the taste and texture just a tad.
Soup really is one of the simplest, thriftiest recipes
that also ensures a boatload of nutrition and comfort.

Last week, 
they were sauteed with some of the banana peppers
we got from the farm.
Banana peppers are sweet, with no discernible heat.

A tortilla was loaded with the tasty mixture.
Then black beans, rice, tomatoes, salsa and a bit of cheddar
were added for a mouthful of marvelous magic.

As their growing time here is nearing its end,
we are stocking our freezer with these treasures.
I hope you'll give leeks a try.
You may even want to add them to your garden next growing season!