One taste of a leek and you'll know which 'family' they belong to -
the onion family! Sometimes called a 'green onion', they have been
found at archaeological sites in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. In
fact, the leek was said to be Emperor Nero's favorite vegetable,
who consumed it in soup or in oil, believing it beneficial to the
quality of his voice. Leeks provide a good source of fiber, folic acid, vitamins B6 and C, manganese, and iron. Studies have shown that leeks can improve the immune system, lower bad cholesterol levels, and fight cancer. Use these versatile vegetables anywhere you'd use traditional onions, or try one of the recipes below.
Leek Soup with Brie Toast
6 medium leeks, thinly sliced ( white portion only)
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon tarragon, dried
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons butter, softened
6 teaspoons butter, softened
7 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
12 slices French bread
8 ounces brie cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
In a Dutch oven or stockpot, saute the leeks, mushrooms, garlic, tarragon and pepper in 2 tablespoons of butter for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Stir in the flour until blended. Gradually add the broth and cream while whisking. Bring to a boil and whisk for 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Lightly toast bread. Spread one side of each slice with 1/2 teaspoons butter. Place Brie on buttered side of toasts. Broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until cheese melts.
Ladle soup into bowls. Float two toasts in each bowl.
Thyme-Leek Braised Pork Tenderloin
2 cups chopped leeks
1 cup riesling wine or 1 cup other slightly sweet white wine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 (1 lb) pork tenderloins, trimmed
Combine first 11 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add pork. Seal and marinate in cooler 2 to 12 hours.
Place pork and marinade in a foil oven bag. Place in a 450° oven and cook for 25 minutes.
Carmelized Leek Tarts
18 baby leeks, cleaned and cut in half
50 g butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut leeks into 3-inch slices. Heat butter, brown sugar and vinegar, stirring over low heat until sugar dissolves.
Add leeks and cook 3 minutes only.
Remove leeks and allow to cool slightly. Cut pastry in half then in 3 equal pieces to create 6 rectangles. Lay leeks side by side on pastry leaving 1/4 inch border. Brush egg around edges. Bake for 25 minutes.
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