Vegetable of the month: Leek

Leeks are from the same family as onions and garlic, the Allium family. They are at their best between November and April. Leeks are a good source of fibre, vitamin K and vitamin C.

Keep them unwashed and untrimmed in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel in the fridge.

Interesting facts about leeks:

  • The Ancient Egyptians already cultivated and ate leeks.
  • Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, prescribed leeks as a cure for nosebleeds.
  • Emperor Nero was called “Porophagus” (“leek eater”) as he supposedly ate so much of the stuff to improve his singing voice.
  • In the Middle Ages in Europe, girls would sleep with a leek under their pillow on St. David’s day to see their future husband in their dreams.
  • Along with the daffodil the leek is Wales’s emblem and as such it is represented in the reverse of 1985 £1 coins. It had been decided that from 1984, British £1 coins would feature different reverse designs for each of the four parts of the United Kingdom.

Leeks have a more delicate flavour than the onions and can replace them in many dishes. I love leeks in soups, quiches and frittatas. Have a look at the recipes below for inspiration:

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