First cousins to onions and garlic. The leek is a vegetable used since ancient times. They have found dried specimens of it in Egypt, along with drawings and wall carvings. The Romans believed that Leeks were beneficial to the quality of the voice, thus Emperor Nero consumed leek soup everyday.
Leeks are in season throughout the year. The whole plant can be used, the green leaves can be used in purees, in stews, or for a stock. The white part is considered to be the best, very tender and can be used raw in salads.
Leeks can be used in a variety of different ways, boiled, saute’d, fried, raw, braised, the list goes on. Most known recipe for leeks is probably the Vichyssoise, a cold cream of leek and potato soup. A great soup for a hot day.
You can saute leeks, with bacon and garlic, add a heavy cream and use it as a sauce for pasta. Or, use them in a salad in place of the onions and dress it with a mustard vinaigrette.