Leeks are a humble allium – underrated but incredibly versatile! They’re native to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Historically, leeks were abundant in the Egyptian diet, and also grown in Mesopotamia. Even the Romans enjoyed them, and thought them to be superior to onions and garlic.
Leeks are related to garlic, chives, shallots, and onions. Thus, they add a sweet, mildly onion flavor to a range of dishes. You can use them to build flavor to start a recipe, as you do onions and shallots. Try them in soups, stews, pastas, and more! With a milder flavor than most alliums, you can even enjoy them on their own.
How to Prepare Leeks:
credit: Love and Lemons
Leeks can be boiled, roasted, sauteed, fried, grilled, or enjoyed raw. Here are some suggested cooking methods:
- Grill: Slice in half lengthwise, rinse and dry well,and grill both sides on medium-high until they’re well charred and tender.
- Roast: Chop into 1-inch chunks according to above instructions. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Sautee: Warm olive oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally until softened – about 5 minutes.
- Raw: Add to salads!
However you use your leeks, make sure not to overcook them as they can get mushy, or even slimy.