Leeks are in the same family as chives, onions, shallots and garlic. How you prepare and cut this large green vegetable will vary depending on how you plan to cook them. They have a surprisingly sweet flavor that adds richness to stews, casseroles and pasta dishes. When preparing a leek for any recipe it’s best to start with washing the outside and trimming off the root ends and the dark green tops. Then you will need to slice the leek in half lengthwise. It’s very normal to see some dirt or sand inside the vegetable. This is why it’s important to give the inside core a good rinse. The three most common ways to cook leeks are roasting, sautéing and grilling.
- When roasting, chop the leeks into large chunks after slicing lengthwise. Then top with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Roasted leeks are delicious by themselves, but they also go great on a salad or mixed into a warm pasta dish.
- To cook on the grill, simply slice the leeks lengthwise and brush on oil. Cook both sides on medium high heat until the veggies are tender. Cook the leeks until they’re charred and crispy.
- When sautéing, it’s best to chop the leek halves into thin slices. Use olive oil and butter to bring out a rich savory flavor. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until the leeks are tender and browned on the edges.
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