Happy Boy Produce

    baby leeks

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SEASON: Fall, Winter, Spring

Leeks

Be Sure To Let This Secret Leak

Posted by Tent

Despite their similar appearance, the cute green and white finger-like alliums that grace the Happy Boy stand for a few too-short months in the winter and spring are not green onions or scallions but our flavorful, baby leeks. Leeks, like their onion and garlic cousins, are an ancient cultivar, enjoyed for centuries and dating back to Roman and even Egyptian civilizations. Now, leeks, like many foods from Mediterranean areas, appreciate our central Californian climates and start to make their appearance at market in the colder months when a lot of other fresh produce can't quite handle the weather.

I have quite a soft spot for our leeks, and use them in a variety of dishes. Leeks have a flavor similar to onions but more subtle and lacking a bit of the onion's characteristic punchy sharpness, making them ideal for dishes when a rounder, more even flavor balance is desired. Choose leeks that still have their roots {even if they are small} with firm green stems. Unlike the larger, thicker leeks used primarily for soups and cooking, our delicate baby leeks are also great for grilling or roasting and eating alone or sauteed and added to things like quiches, soups and breads. Caramelized baby leeks also make sweet and smoky additions to gravies or creamy sauces - I find it hard to go wrong with leeks and butter in any proportion. Their name is also a favorite among market customers serving up a bit of double-entendre as well.

Storage

Store leeks WITH their tops and roots, in the fridge, wrapped in a damp towel. Leeks can be sliced long ways and soaked for a few minutes in water to remove any leftover grit hiding out in their delicious layers. 

Nutrition

Leeks posses many of the same nutritional benefits of onions and green garlic, as well as iron, vitamin C and E and potassium.

Recipes and Pairings

    0 Total Recipes

Use leeks and fingerling potatoes for the classic soup, or mix it up by roasting them and enjoying them alone with a mustardy vinaigrette dressing. Leeks pair well with butter and cream in sauces or pastas, and with lighter meats like chicken and fish. Leeks pair well with herbs like parsley and thyme, or green garlic, another springtime favorite.