I have learnt from culinary skills mainly form cultures that use onions as a base for everything. The lovely leek gives me a break from the humble onion. A sautéed leek can be used as a base in place on an onion. The white stem and dark green leaves as more texture and a subtler flavour that will hold it own as a main ingredient.
They are a great source of vitamins and nutrients – like Vit A, C and K, iron, folate, manganese and fibre, to name a few.
What do we grow?
We have grown two varieties on the farm this season
Hilari – Allium porrum
Medium-dark leaves and long stems. A leek for harvest in late summer, autumn and early winter.
Blue Green Winter – Allium porrum
Improved selection from Blue Green Winter with long shafts and erect dark green foliage. For autumn and winter harvest. Can stand heavy frosts.
We have grown two types one that we raised early from Febuary and large trays that were planted out in 120 metres of beds wtih 3 rows, 9” apart.
We also trailed Charles Dowding’s multi sown system, these are spaced further apart but with 3 to 5 leeks in each module –
The big problem with growing leeks seems to be RUST, which the RHS calls a common fungal disease. It creates orange rusty coloured marks on the leaves and stems. It seems to be under control and has only really affected the aesthetics of the plants and require a little extra TLC when harvesting.
How to eat them?
Here are some delicious suggestion from the world wide web
Buttered Leeks with pangritata – https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/vegetarian/buttered-leeks-with-pangritata/
Leeks with Walnuts and Tarragon – https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/leeks-in-vinaigrette-with-walnuts-and-tarragon