Luscious Leek Recipes

leeksLeeks are a member of the lily family, related to the onion, with a slender white bulb, cylindrical stem and broad, flat leaves. They make a tasty addition to any soup or stew, and are particularly famous in Leek and Potato Soup. They contain sugards, dietary fiber and small amounts of protein.  There is also some iron and carotene in the green leaves.  They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

When leeks grow, they often trap soil and grit between their leaves.  The best way to clean them is to halve them lengthways, down to the bulb, but not all the way through.  You can then fan out and rinse all the leaves, while keeping the leek intact. Leeks can be boiled or steamed, braised in stock, or sliced into rings and stir fried.

Luscious Leek Recipes

Provencal Vegetable Quiche

vegfeastckbk_small_border lighterRecipe from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.

Silken tofu is used instead of eggs and cream in this light and luscious quiche. Mediterranean spiced vegetables and a flaky crust make it a good choice for a light lunch or supper entrée served with a crisp green salad. Serves 4 to 6

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chilled corn oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cold water, or more as needed

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, white part only, washed well and chopped
1.5 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped white mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, well drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup pitted black olives, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups drained and crumbled firm silken tofu
1 cup soymilk or other dairy-free milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan-style nondairy cheese (optional)

To make the crust, combine the flour, corn oil and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. With the machine running, add the water and process until the mixture forms a ball. Flatten the dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to fit into a 10-inch quiche pan or pie plate. Line the pan or plate with the dough and trim the edges.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leek, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the liquid evaporates, about 7 minutes. Stir in the olives, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu, soymilk, mustard, cayenne and salt to taste. Blend well. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the crust and sprinkle with the Parmesan-style cheese, if using. Pour the tofu mixture over all, distributing it evenly.

Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

Roasted Leek and Carrot Soup

Recipe from Local Bounty by Devra Gartenstein.

Yield: 6 servings
In this recipe the roasting process concentrates the flavors and makes an exquisite broth. Use small, sweet spring carrots if you can find them.

1 pound carrots
1 pound leeks
1 medium-size onion
1 bulb garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts stock or water
1 cup white non-alcoholic wine
1 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

If you’re using small carrots, trim the ends; if you’re using big ones, trim them and cut them in two-inch chunks. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, clean them well, and cut them into two-inch lengths. Peel the onion, cut it in quarters, and separate the layers. Separate the garlic into cloves but don’t peel them. Toss all of the veggies with the oil and spread them on a baking sheet, keeping the garlic in a separate corner. Roast the veggies for 30 to 40 minutes or until they start to brown.

Meanwhile, start heating the stock or water, along with the wine, parsley, nutritional yeast and salt. Squeeze the pulp out of the garlic cloves and add it to the stock, along with the other veggies. Cook on medium-low for about an hour, then turn off the heat and add the balsamic vinegar.

Strain the soup and set aside the stock. Blend the veggies in batches in a food processor or blender, adding stock as needed. Mix the blended veggies back with the remaining stock and serve.