Recipes and facts – Leeks

Leeks are part of the allium family and can be used to replace onions in many dishes.

Leeks are rich in flavonoids, especially one called kaempferol. Flavonoids are antioxidants and may have health benefits.

Leeks can be enjoyed either cooked or raw. They can be thinly slice and use raw as a salad topping. Add to mixed vegetables before oven roasting. Make mashed potatoes more interesting by adding leeks to boiling potatoes, then mashing them with the potatoes. Use leeks to season beans, soups, and stews.  

Recipes

Curried Lentil and Leek Soup

Leeks with Miso and Chive Salsa

Curried Lentil and Leek Soup – Lucy and Lentils website

  • 200 g pack precooked lentils substitute for 150g uncooked red split lentils
  • 1 large leek base and green end, finely diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic finely chopped
  • Large thumb sized piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1 green or red chilli finely chopped
  • 400 g tin of chickpeas 240 drained
  • 400 ml full fat coconut milk
  • 550 ml veg stock water and a stock cube
  • Spices:
  • 1 tsp paprika smoked or hot
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder optional

Start by finely chopping the leeks, chilli and ginger then add to a large pot with 1 tbsp of plant based butter or olive oil, fry on a medium heat for around 6 minutes

Mince the garlic then add to the pot, cook for a few minutes before adding the chickpeas and dried spices

Toss together then add in the vegetable stock, precooked lentils* and simmer for 5 minutes before adding the coconut milk

Leave on a low- medium heat (you don’t want the coconut milk to bubble) taste testing along the way, season with salt and pepper

When it’s seasoned to preference, serve up and serve with fresh coriander, chilli flakes, pepper and a tsp of the coconut cream from the tin

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Leeks with Miso and Chive Salsa – Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Flavour

  • 12 medium leeks (2.1kg)
  • 300ml Sunflower oil, for frying
  • 1 1/4 tsp cornflour
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and flaked sea salt
  • 15g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp mixed black and white sesame seeds, very well toasted
  • 15g chives, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 60ml mirin
  • 3/4 tbsp rice vinegar

Remove and discard the tough outer layers of the leeks then wash the leeks well to remove any grit. Cut off and reserve the darker green tops of the leeks so each leek is about 22cm long.

Finely slice 60g of the reserved green leek tops into 8cm-long, thin strips. Rinse very well to remove any grit, then dry thoroughly and set aside.

For the salsa, pound the ginger and ¼ teaspoon of flaked salt into a paste using a pestle and mortar (or with the side of a knife). Put into a small bowl along with all the remaining salsa ingredients, stir well to combine, and set aside.

Half fill a pot (large enough to fit the length of the leeks lying down) with lightly salted water and place on a medium-high heat. Once simmering, add the leeks and reduce the heat to medium. Place a lid smaller than the saucepan on top of the leeks, weighing them down so they don’t float above the surface of the water. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until a knife goes through easily but they still hold their shape. Transfer the leeks to a colander and stand them vertically so they drain thoroughly.

While the leeks are draining, put the sunflower oil into a medium, high sided saucepan on a medium-high heat and line a plate with kitchen paper. Toss the dried, sliced green leek tops with 1 teaspoon of cornflour. Once the oil is very hot (170°C if you have a temperature probe), add the leek tops and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring with a fork, until golden and crispy. Transfer to the paper-lined plate with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with some flaked salt. Toss the garlic with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of cornflour and fry for about a minute, stirring frequently to separate the slices, until crisp and golden-brown. Add to the fried leeks and sprinkle with flaked salt.

Arrange the leeks on a large plate and spoon over the miso salsa. Drizzle over the olive oil and top with the fried leeks and garlic. Sprinkle with the extra chives and serve.

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