When you hear leeks, what comes to mind? Potato Leek soup, probably. Or maybe what the heck is a leek? The leek is one vegetable that just doesn’t get much love, despite having that one-two punch of being delicious and nutritious! So I’m here to spread the leek love and share a delicious recipe for braised leeks.
A member of the allium family (think garlic, onions, shallots), leeks are sweeter with a more delicate flavor than its relatives. One cup of leeks contains almost 1/2 of the recommended daily value of Vitamin K, plus they are a good source of Vitamin B6, folate and manganese. They contain flavonoids and polyphenols (read: antioxidants) that are immune-boosting and may be protective against certain cancers. Though available year round, leaks are in peak season from late fall to early spring. AKA right now! 🙂
When buying leeks, be sure to look for fresh, crisp-looking stalks with roots still attached (the roots look like fringe). Store them loosely wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week, but be wary of their smell transferring to other foods nearby. When it comes time to prepare leeks, slice them in half lengthwise and rinse very well to remove any dirt stuck between the layers. I like to give them a bath and fan out the stalks, swishing them around in a bowl of water.
Leeks can be prepared in a variety of ways: mixed into quiches and casseroles, stirred into soups and stews or even as the star of the show, like in my braised leek recipe below! The Mediterranean-inspired recipe is light and refreshing, yet full of fiber and super satisfying. Check it out and let me know if you try this one for yourself.
- 4 leeks
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbles
- Slice off root end of leeks and slice in half lengthwise. Rinse well between layers to remove dirt.
- Cut stalks into 1-inch sections diagonally. Use white and pale green portions, discarding the darkest part or repurposing for stocks/soups.
- In a large saucepan, heat vegetable broth over medium-high heat until simmering. Place leeks into simmering broth and cover for about 5-10 minutes.
- While leeks are cooking, whisk together olive oil, garlic, honey, lemon, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Using tongs, add cooked leeks to the bowl and toss in dressing. Discard broth or save and reuse for other recipes.
- Add chickpeas and feta to leek mixture.
- Serve topped with lemon zest.