Leeks can be difficult to clean, due to the overlapping leaves trapping sand and dirt. You can start by removing outer layer of white, if needed. Trim the base of the leek with a sharp paring knife to remove roots. Next, make an incision in the middle of the white stalk and cut toward the green end. Completely cut through the green layers and leave tender green and the white part in tact. Wash under cold running water, separating leaves to get all the sand and dirt out. Drain well with green side down, draining all dirt downward.
I love this Bacon and Leek Quiche Recipe from "Food and Wine". The delicate leek flavor is a perfect match with eggs, and you know I enjoy bacon!
Two of my favorite ways to highlight leeks is in my Loaded Leek and Potato Soup Recipe and Asparagus and Leek Soup.
Yield 8 Servings
1 LB Leeks, cleaned and dark green removed, med chop
1 LB Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and small dice
8 oz Bacon, cooked, small chop (I like to use kitchen scissors)
1 C Heavy Cream
1 C Crème fraîche
3 T unsalted butter
1 qt Vegetable broth
1 T Chives. med chop
2 Large Bay Leaves, whole
Sea Salt and White Pepper
In a large heavy bottom saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and sweat for 3 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium low and cook approximately 10 minutes till tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium high, bringing to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 25 minutes.
Turn off the heat and puree the mixture till smooth. Stir in the heavy cream, Crème fraîche, sea salt and white pepper to taste. Remove Bay Leaves, Cover and Chill. Use 1 T of Crème fraîche and place in middle of soup bowl, several bacon bits and sprinkle with chives.
Leeks are a great substitute for Onions in most any dish. I have found even those who don't like onions, enjoy the mild flavor of a leek.
1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes, small dice
1 lb Asparagus
2 lb Spinach, fresh
1/2 C Long Grain Cooked Rice
3 Med Carrots, fine chop
4 Leeks, med chop white and tender green part
1 qt Chicken Broth, low sodium
1/2 C Heavy Cream
1/2 C Crème fraîche
3 T Butter
1 Large Bay Leaf, whole removed before service
Sea Salt and White Pepper to taste
In heavy bottom large saucepan, melt butter. Add Onions, Carrots and sweat. Add Asparagus, Leeks and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add Potatoes, bay leaf and chicken broth. Bring to boil and cook till tender, approximately 15 minutes. Add cooked rice and spinach the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add Heavy cream and heat on low for several minutes, stirring bottom of pan.
Remove from heat. Place dollup of Crème fraîche in
middle of bowl and top with chives.
Serve these soups with French Bread and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for a delicious meal.