By Eliza Short, RD, Communications Coordinator for Jackson In Action
Leeks are a very nutritious vegetable to include in salads, sandwiches, stir-fry’s, or as a substitution for onions in a recipe. They have a milder flavor than an onion, and contain many nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. Below, you can read more about how to choose, prepare, and store leeks!
What to look for:
- Choose firm and straight white stalks with dark tops
- Purchase leeks that have a diameter of 1 ½ inches or less, as when they are allowed to grow larger they become more fibrous in texture
- Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves
- Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise
- Fan out leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact
- Chop leeks into desired size
- Store fresh leeks unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they keep fresh for 1-2 weeks
- Wrap leeks loosely in a plastic bag to help them retain moisture
- Cooked leeks can be kept refrigerated for up to two days
- Leeks may be frozen after being blanched for 2-3 minutes, although they may lose some of their desirable taste and texture qualities
On Wednesday, March 22nd, from 11:30am-12:30pm, join Registered Dietitian Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RDN, CD, at Black River Memorial Hospital for a Harvest of the Month recipe demonstration featuring leeks. Taste tests and recipes will be provided.
Featured Recipe: Leek & White Bean Artichoke Hummus
Yield: 24 servings
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ cups chopped leeks*, tender part only, cleaned and drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 15-ounce cans no-salt added cannellini beans, drained/ rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can artichoke hearts packed in water (un-drained)
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. Tahini (toasted sesame paste)
- Optional: 2 large bunches tender cooking greens, such as chard, beet or spinach greens, leaves chopped & washed, stems chopped and separated
- 1 large baguette, sliced on a slight bias into 24 rounds
- ½ cup diced peeled pepperoni (optional)
- Place 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet followed by leeks, 1 tablespoon garlic, ½ tsp. salt (optional) and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until the leeks are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a food processor or blender; add beans, artichokes, lemon juice and tahini. Puree until smooth.
- Optional: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped greens’ stems, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often until the garlic is fragrant and the stems are softened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chopped green leaves and stir until combined with the garlic mixture. Cover, increase heat to high and cook until the greens are wilted and tender, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
- Just before serving, preheat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, lightly brush the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over the baguette slices and grill over medium heat until lightly toasted. Top the grilled bread with the puree, the greens and pepperoni.