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Leeks offer wonderful flavor to soups & meals
You’ll need to cut leeks up before using them. There are two parts to leeks, the green leafy tops and the tender white/yellow inside part. Even though the whole plant has that great leek flavor, most recipes only call for the yellow tender part. The leek tops (the leek greens) are very chewy and not very palatable. You can dehydrate the greens into a leek powder though, as Salt in my Coffee shows you.
This post will cover how to cut leeks and freezing leeks for later use
How to cut leeks
When you buy leeks (or grow them yourself) most will have the roots still at the bottom. You’ll want to discard or compost this part (you can plant them into some soil, as some leek roots will re-grow!).
- Cut off the roots at the base, roughly about 1 inch from the stem.
- Trim off the top greens. Where the greens start to create different layers is where the plant starts to get chewy. Discard or compost the roots and leek tops (unless you plant on dehydrating them).
Like onions, leeks have many layers
- The outside layer of the stem will also be too chewy to eat. It’s the center part that you’ll want to cut up for use.
- Make a cut down the length of the stem to cut them in half and discard the outer stem layer (the same way the outside layer of onions get discarded).
Some leeks are very dirty in the center because they were ‘hilled up’ during the growing period.
- This means soil was added up the leek stem while it was growing to make it whiter instead of green. Some leeks are very clean inside, others very dirty. If you cut them in half and there’s a lot of dirt, give them a rinse now but you might need to rinse more after cutting them into finer pieces.
- If the recipe calls for small leek pieces cut the stem once more length-wise then finely cut into small pieces.
- For something like a pot of soup that gets blended later, you can cut your leeks into larger pieces. Many recipes call for sauteing leeks first and are great in half moon pieces. Your preference might be to dice them even smaller.
Leeks taste wonderful if you sauté them in oil or butter as it brings out more flavor.
I love using sauteed leeks into quiche, into a roast base or broth, or substituted for onions in dishes like spanakopita or any soup. Potato leek soup is also a classic, and is great blended or broth based.
How to freeze leeks
Freezing leeks is super super easy. First cut your leeks, then all you have to do is make sure they are dry before popping them into a freezer bag or container. You can spread them out and place them on a large tray to freeze too. This helps many vegetables from clumping up, but I find so long as they’re dry this step isn’t needed.
You don’t need to blanch leeks before freezing.
Because of leeks cold tolerance it’s one of my top crops for a fall and winter vegetable garden.Yep, leeks cans withstand cold temperatures and snow!
What is your favorite recipe for using cut leeks?
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.