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Old 03-06-2006, 10:14 PM   #1
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Using leeks

I'm once again trying to broaden my repertoire and went produce crazy at the grocery today. One of the things I came home with was leeks, and now I have no idea what do with them, or even how to prepare them.

I imagine i should cut off the rooty looking area on the very bottom, but after that i'm clueless. Is the rest of the plant edible, or only white or only green?

Also, if you have any sort of japanese/chinese dishes involving leeks, those would be most helpful, as that is the type of cuisine I have been working on the most as of late. Anything you have will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all!


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Old 03-06-2006, 10:28 PM   #2
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Leeks are great stuff! They're a mild flavored member of the green onion family. Scallions, chives and spring onions are other types of green onions.

You have to trim off the very end, as you said. After that, the white and light green parts are edible. The dark Green part can be used to flavor broth or stock.

Leeks are notoriously dirty. Sand/dirt gets in between the layers and settles near the root end. You have to wash them.

If you're going to chop them for use in a soup or stew, it's easy to wash off any dirt after cutting them up. Cut them in half length-wise then cut across.

If you want to halve them length-wise and grill them, you can run water between the leaves to get out as much dirt as possible.

You can use leeks anywhere onion is called for.

Try a leek and potato soup. It's a classic recipe and delicious.

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Old 03-06-2006, 11:31 PM   #3
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Greek Leek and Rice ( This is my favorite way to use leeks. ) 3-4 good sized leeks (or more if you wish)
1 cup rice
olive oil
1-2 cups water
1/2 can tomato sauce
salt, pepper, paprika

cut green part off of the leek.
slice the white part in half... wash well and then cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
Put olive oil in pan and saute leek for 5 to 10 minutes (should be nice and soft)
Add 1-2 cups water and cook for 5 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, rice, salt, pepper and paprika...
Bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce heat. Continue cooking for 20 minutes or until liquid is gone.

You can add more tomato sauce if you'd like or use canned tomatoes instead.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:39 AM   #4
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Andy took the words right out of my mouth. The only thing I have to add is my first experiences with leeks.

Like you I had never used then, but was very curious when I saw them at the store. I took them home not knowing how to use them, clean them, or which parts to eat and not eat. I guessed (correctly) to chop off the root part (it just looks gross lol) , but then I proceeded to just trim up the very ends of the dark green. I then chopped the whole thing, dark green, light green, and white. This all went into a chorizzo, leek, and potato soup that I had come up with. The soup also has chick peas and tahini. The dark green pieces I later found out most people do not use. I was glad I used them though and to this day when I make that soup I still make it that way.

Generally you really only want the white part and the light green part. Cut it off where it starts to branch out into separate leaves, but don't be afraid to experiment with using the dark green. It may work and it may not, but you won't know until you try
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:41 PM   #5
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another fan of potato and leek soup here. I've seen TV cooking shows on which braised (simmer in liquid) leeks were prepared, but haven't made them myself.
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:11 PM   #6
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Leek soup!
If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart. - Arab proverb
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:07 PM   #7
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i'm with you on potato & leeks.
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:34 PM   #8
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I love leeks, and like you all, potato and leek soup is the first thing I think of. I also like to put them in the vegetables I braise in chicken broth, fritattas, omelets, or sauteed with mushrooms in olive oil for an accompaniment for meat.
When I find nice ones, I buy several, cut off and discard the root end, and the tough green tops, chop the rest, and put into little ziplocks in the freezer.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:59 AM   #9
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I've never tried leeks yet, but I'm a big fan of onions, green onions, shallots and garlic! I've looked at leeks in the supermarket and have always wondered how to use them. I guess I'll have search for more recipes to use them!
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:00 AM   #10
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The only major trick that you should be aware of with leeks is that they get filled with dirt when they grow, so you really need to wash them very well when preparing them to get rid of all that dirt.

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