I’ve been away for the last week at a web conference and I haven’t had two minutes together to post anything here – how’s that for irony? But I’m back now and what a joy it was to come home to see that my little clutch of leeks are now ready for harvest. I can honestly say that I think they’re the biggest leeks I’ve ever grown. I sowed them back in April and planted them around June time. They must like the sandy, free-draining soil.
The only thing I would do differently next year is plant them a little further apart. They don’t need that much room to grown since all of their growing is of the vertical variety, however their root systems are pretty hefty and when it comes to digging them up it’s impossible to just dig up one leek if they are planted too close together. Mine are planted about 6 or 7 cm apart. Next time I’ll give them at least 10 or 12 cm to be on the safe side.
I found two lovely recipes with Leeks from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. The first is ‘Leek and Goat’s Cheese Tart’, the second is ‘Haddock with Creamed Leek’. Both of them have been tried, eaten and loved already. Does anyone else have some tried and tested Leek recipes? I really do have a shocking amount of Leek this year!
This recipe seems promising :)
Simply cream them, soften them in butter with a bit of French mustard, thicken with cornflour and then add milk – great with all roats meats but especialy with pork. Little tip – salt them and use the pan lid to soften them more quickly.
I can thoroughly recommend the potato and leek soup from January in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries. You put parmesan in it and it is really tasty.
I love leeks in risotto – they melt into the creamy background and are just delicious!
I’ll second Lara’s soup suggestion.
Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries book is just fantastic by the way.
This recipe is from Delia Smiths Complete Illustrated Cookery Course book,
Penne with Leeks and Bacon
I think this is nicest made with the larger type of pasta called penne, but macaroni is almost as good. You can vary this by using all kinds of different ingredients, such as onions or sliced sautéed courgettes in place of leeks. Or by adding 4 oz (110 g) of sautéed sliced mushrooms and using less bacon.
12 oz (350g) penne or macaroni
3 small leeks, cleaned and chopped
6 oz (175 g) streaky bacon, de-rinded and chopped
2 oz (50 g) butter
For the sauce:
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 oz (50 g) plain flour
1½ pints (850 ml) milk
6 oz (175 g) Cheddar cheese, grated
3 fl oz (75 ml) double cream
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the topping:
2 level tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
1 level tablespoon breadcrumbs
2 pinches cayenne pepper
You will also need a 3 pint (1.7 litre) pie dish, well buttered.
Loving your blog by the way x
I’ll have to grow some leeks nest year. They look fantastic.
I ADORE leeks! I just posted a recipe for potato leek soup on my blog a couple of weeks ago.
It’s a good way to use up a lot of them! And it’s so delicious!
One of the nicest meals in the world: leek, potato and bacon hotpot. You just put alternate layers of sliced leeks and potatoes into a large casserole, with bits of smoked bacon and garlic liberally sprinkled on top of each layer. Then pour over white sauce to almost cover and cook for an hour in the oven on low heat. Utterly simple and utterly delicious.
You can find varieties of leeks that will ensure you have them all year round. I planted mine at intervals and now pick the biggest from one end and will still be picking next year when it’s time to start again (good substitute for onions when they run out.)