Long dark green shanks become very mild and sweet when cooked. Often used in Europe in place of onions. Although they’re known mainly as soup ingredients. Leeks are wonderful fresh chopped or diced for salads.
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The interlacing leaves make leeks difficult to clean thoroughly before preparation. Be sure to rinse with water to remove the grit found between the leaves. After washing, leeks can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking times will vary with the diameter of the leek. Leeks are generally considered sufficiently cooked when the stalk can be easily pierced with a fork. Avoid overcooking — this makes leeks tough. Leeks can give off an odor that can be absorbed by other foods in the refrigerator, so be sure to wrap leeks in plastic when storing in the refrigerator. Do not trim or wash before storing. Leeks will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Once cooked, leeks can be kept in the refrigerator and used within two days.
Freezing: Leeks do not freeze well. They develop a strong, bitter flavor. Freezing also makes leeks mushy. They also are not good candidates for canning either, because the high heat of pressure canning turns the product to mush. They can be dried. Wash well and cut in ¼-inch slices. Dry at 145 degrees F until crisp.
HOW TO USE
Leeks are commonly used in soups and stews but are also gaining popularity as a vegetable that can stand alone — steamed, sautéed or served with a creamed sauce. Roasting or braising brings out the best flavors in leeks and simple grilling is a great option as well. We think leeks pair well with fish and seafood.
Leeks are a great source of vitamins A, K and C, as well as folate and fiber.
100 grams of leeks contains the following nutrients (1 shank) - 61 calories.
14.2 grams carbohydrates
1.5 grams protein
0.3 grams fat
1.8 grams fiber
47 micrograms vitamin K - 59% of DV
1,667 international units vitamin A - 33% DV
0.5 milligrams manganese - 24% DV
12 milligrams vitamin C - 20% DV
64 micrograms folate - 16% DV
0.2 milligrams vitamin B6 - 12% DV
2.1 milligrams iron - 12% DV
28 milligrams magnesium - 7% DV
59 milligrams calcium - 6% DV
0.1 milligrams copper - 6% DV
180 milligrams potassium - 5% DV
0.9 milligrams vitamin E - 5% DV