Leeks
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About
The leek, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.), also sometimes known as Allium porrum, is a vegetable which belongs, along with the onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae family. Two related vegetables, the elephant garlic and kurrat, are also variant subspecies of Allium ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food. The edible part of the leek plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths which is sometimes called a stem or stalk.
Rather than forming a tight bulb like the onion, the leek produces a long cylinder of bundled leaf sheaths which are generally blanched by pushing soil around them (trenching). They are often sold as small seedlings in flats which are started off early in greenhouses, to be planted out as weather permits.
Nutritional Value
Raw leeks, bulb & lower leaves
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy
255 kJ (61 kcal)
Carbohydrates
2.9 g
Sugars
3.9 g
Dietary fiber
1.8 g
Fat
0.3 g
Saturated
0.04 g
Monounsaturated
0.004 g
Polyunsaturated
0.166 g
Protein
1.5 g
Water
83 g
Vitamin A equiv.
83 μg (9%)
Thiamine (Vit. B1)
0.06 mg (5%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2)
0.03 mg (2%)
Niacin (Vit. B3)
0.4 mg (3%)
Vitamin B6
0.233 mg (18%)
Folate (Vit. B9)
64 μg (16%)
Vitamin B12
0 μg (0%)
Vitamin C
12 mg (20%)
Vitamin E
0.92 mg (6%)
Vitamin K
47 μg (45%)
Calcium
59 mg (6%)
Iron
2.1 mg (17%)
Magnesium
28 mg (8%)
Phosphorus
35 mg (5%)
Potassium
180 mg (4%)
Sodium
20 mg (1%)
Zinc
0.12 mg (1%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Growing
Leeks are easy to grow from seed and tolerate standing in the field for an extended harvest. Leeks usually reach maturity in the autumn months, and they have few pest or disease problems. Leeks can be bunched and harvested early when they are about the size of a finger or pencil, or they can be thinned and allowed to grow to a much larger mature size. Hilling leeks can produce better specimens.
Uses
The edible portions of the leek are the white onion base and light green stalk. The dark green portion is usually discarded since it has less flavor. As the leek grows, this part becomes woody and very chewy. One of the most popular uses for the whites and light green stalks is for adding flavor to stock. Chefs rarely use the darker part of the leek for stock because of its bitterness. However, a few leaves are sometimes tied with twine and other herbs to form a bouquet garni.
Leek has a mild onion-like taste, less bitter than scallion. The taste might be described as a mixture of mild onion and cucumber, with a fresh smell similar to scallion. In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm.
Leek is 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 different ways of preparing the vegetable:
Boiled, which turns it soft and mild in taste.
Fried, which leaves it more crunchy and preserves the taste.
Raw, which can be used in salads, doing well when they are the prime ingredient.

Recipes
Meata-bol Delight
Submitted by Kathryn Grant

Homemade Breadcrumbs (Optional)
Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on one loaf of sourdough bread. Crush as much fresh garlic as you desire and spread onto loaf. Sprinkle whatever herbs you like, but I recommend fresh parsley, basil and oregano. Bake in the oven at 170 until crunchy, about 3 hrs. Once it has cooled, crumble the loaf into small bread crumbs (or make half into croutons) and store for later use.

Ingredients:
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 egg
2 cups of squash
1 cup bread crumbs
Any fresh herbs you like
1 or 2 chopped onions

Mix all ingredients together and roll them into golf ball sized balls. Cook them until done (about 30 minutes) in a 350 degree oven.

For the spaghetti sauce, I usually use some kind of organic spaghetti sauce and chop up ½ cup leeks and ½ cup beets and cook them in the sauce on the stove in a large pot until tender.