Valley Bounty: Leeks
Soft and malleable in both texture and flavor, leeks have a delicate Allium allure that doesn’t overpower dishes (or leave you crying) like onions can. Slow-cooked in butter, they’ll warm your kitchen and melt into a wide variety of dishes—soups, risottos, savory tarts or on top of pizza. The white and light green sections of the stalk are most desirable in recipes, but try steaming the tougher outer leaves, or use for making soup stock.
By Abby Getman of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)
Find leeks at these locations but call ahead, as some farm stands have closed for the season.
Why do layers of leeks have so much dirt in between their layers?!
Aside from the obvious fact that leeks are grown in the soil and don’t form the papery skin their onion cousins have, leeks are also grown deeper in the ground to encourage long, tender stalks. The Kitchen Garden explains it nicely on their leek recipe page (which has several gems you should try!), “To clean leeks halve them lengthwise along the shank. Run water in between all the layers to remove any trapped sand.” Pretty simple stuff!