Have you ever wandered into the produce booths at the farmers market and seen a vegetable or two (or three) that you did not recognize? I know that I have. Many, in fact, and I consider myself a bit of a foodie and an amateur gardener. And so I am on a mission this year to learn about and to try a few of those unfamiliar foodstuffs…
Riddle: What do you get if you marry a green onion, celery and bok choy?
I have no idea. But I am guessing it would turn out to be something like this funny looking item, the leek.
Photo credit: J. Burris
The leek, the beautiful and smelly butt of many jokes, is related to the onion and garlic. It essentially performs the same job as an onion, but is prettier and sweeter. And you can sound a little bit more fancy for using a food item that is a little bit out of the ordinary.
Here are a few ideas.
Leek and cheese fillo dough bites:
photo credit: J. Burris
- You need: one-two leeks chopped, one roll fillo dough, one stick of butter, one clove garlic, one ounce of your favorite cheese.
- Start with your leeks and garlic in a pan with butter. Saute lightly, about two-three minutes. Allow to cool. Unroll fillo dough, use about five to six sheets at a time and cut into five strips. Butter each strip generously then put a dollop on the leek and cheese on the end. Roll each one up in triangles (like how you used to roll up your notes to pass in junior high. Am I aging myself?) Brush each with more butter (You cannot have too much butter here. Go crazy). Put onto parchment paper lined baking dish and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until brown.
- You need: six small leeks or three large leeks cut in half. Two cups heavy cream. Two garlic cloves chopped. One sprig of thyme. Kosher salt. Pepper. Two cups of grated cheese ( I like a mix) and a few dollops of goat cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking dish with foil (for easy clean up). Heat cream, garlic and thyme sprig in a medium saucepan just until bubbles begin to form around edge of pan. Remove from heat; set aside to steep. Lightly saute leeks in one tablespoon of butter for six to nine minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then add leeks to baking dish. Cover with cream sauce. Top with cheese and more salt/pepper. Cook for 25 minutes. Then spoon each onto a plate as your vegetable side dish.
Chopped into any stir fry. Or substitute for onions in any recipe.
Have you ever tried leeks? Whats you’re tried and true recipe?
Past stories in the “What’s that thing I saw at the Farmer’s Market?”