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Friday, April 13, 2018

What is a Leek

What is a leek??

A leek is a vegetable,  the broad leaf wild leek. The edible part of the plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths that is often called the stem or stalk. Leeks are closely related to onions, garlic, shallots, scallions and chives.

Leeks are like onions and garlic and contain sulfur containing compounds that help fight dangerous free radicals in the human body. Kaempferol is also contained in leaks and may help fight cancer as well as fight chronic diseases such as heart disease. Leeks also contain antioxidants and vitamins A and K, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium and thiamin all of which help the body.

Many people may not know how to cook leeks. The top recommendation is to cut them very thinly and prepare them in a healthy saute. Allow leeks to sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking.

Leeks have a mild, onion-like taste. In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm. The edible portions of the leek are the white base of the leaves (above the roots and stem base), the light green parts, and to a lesser extent the dark green parts of the leaves. The dark green portion is usually discarded because it has a tough texture, but it can be sautéed, or more commonly added to stock for flavor.[10] A few leaves are sometimes tied with twine and other herbs to form a bouquet garni.

Leeks are typically chopped into slices 5–10 mm thick. The slices have a tendency to fall apart, due to the layered structure of the leek. There are many different ways of preparing leeks including :

  • Boiling --- the leek will turn soft and mild in taste. When boiling be sure to chop the vegetable first
  • Frying --- for a crunchier taste fry the leeks
  • Salads --- raw leeks go well in salads
  • Turkish cuisine --- chop the leeks in thick slices, boil and separate into leaves. Stuff with filling of rice, parsley, dill, onion, and pepper
Leeks have been found through out history. The Hebrew Bible speaks of leeks as well. They were once abundant in Egypt and many dried specimens have been found in archaeological sites , in carvings and drawings. 

Do your self a flavor and try a leek. 

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