Leeks are a member of the allium family, alongside garlic and onion. However, unlike onions and garlic, leeks do not produce a bulb but are a long cylinder of bundled leaf sheaths. As a result of the structure of the leek, it is vital to thoroughly wash the vegetable before cooking, as soil often gets caught between layers of the leaves and sheaths.
Leeks have similar taste to onion, just slightly milder. The white base of the leaves is the main edible part, but the lighter green sections can also be eaten, as can the darker green sections but to a lesser extent. Leeks are usually thinly sliced, falling apart as a result of the layered structure of the stem, and are often sautéed, fried, boiled, or used flavour stocks. Leeks can be used in quiches, soups, pasta dishes, omelettes, pies and more. When buying leeks, choose those which are firm and straight with dark green leaves and white necks. They should not be yellowed or wilted and the bulbs should not have any cracks or bruises.
Bull Creek Organic Garlic, The Food Forest, Patlin Gardens; W&B Hart, Alnda Farms, N&M Tsimiklis and Salad Greens and Kitchen Herbs sell leek at the Showground Farmers’ Market.