Leeks are very versatile and useful in the kitchen, with their own distinct, subtle flavour. They were grown widely in ancient Egypt and also eaten and enjoyed throughout the Greek and Roman period. There is evidence they were enjoyed in England during the Dark Ages but became considered an “unfashionable” vegetable in the Middle Ages.

Leeks are members of the onion (Allium) family with a milder flavour. There are many varieties but little difference in flavour. They can be steamed, boiled, fried, sweated, stir-fried, braised and baked. They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and a good source of Vitamin C and folic acid.Raw leeks are also a source of Thiamin and Vitamin B6, which can be lost through prolonged cooking.
Nutritional Value

Nutrient Raw Cooked
Energy kJ 93 87
Kcal 22 21
Protein g 1.6 1.2
Carbohydrate g 2.9 2.6
Fat g 0.5 0.7

A good source of…

Nutrient Raw Cooked
Fibre One Tick One Tick
Vitamin A One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick One TickOne TickOne Tick
Fibre One TickOne Tick One Tick
Fibre One Tick
Fibre One Tick
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For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.

Preparing and Using

Leeks should always be bought in a fresh condition. The white part should be firm and unblemished and the leaves green and lively. Leeks don’t keep particularly well. Leeks must be washed thoroughly as earth and grit gets lodged between the white sections at the base. Before use cut away the flags (outerleaves) and trim the base. You will probably have to remove the first layer of white as well.Cut a slit from one end to the other through to the centre of the leek. Wash well under running water. Alternatively, slice thickly or thinly and wash them under running water in a colander.

Leeks can be boiled or steamed, stir-fried (add a little garlic and ginger) or sweated in butter under a cartouche and served as a vegetable.Leeks can be accompanied by cream, smoked bacon, lemon, Hollandaise or Béarnaise sauce.(When frying leeks don’t allow them to brown or they will become tough and unappetising).Leeks can be baked – they should be boiled for a few minutes first – add a topping of eggs,goat’s cheese, and yoghurt, parmesan cheese and finally cover with breadcrumbs.

They are ideal to use in stir-fries, risottos, egg dishes, sauces, stews, and of course soups – Cock-a-leekie and Crème Vichyssoise are two well-known leek soups. They are also used to flavour vegetable soups and stocks.

Leeks can also be used raw in salads to give good colour and flavour. The leaf can be used to hold a bouquet garni and you can use them to garnish dishes in a variety of ways.
For some Leek recipes, visit the Bord Bia website here

Crusted Haddock with Herb Mash And Creamy Leeks

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Organic Leek and Bacon Tart

This is a special treat with great flavour.

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