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Adding Flavor with Leeks

In the cooler weather months, you’ll notice recipes using leeks more frequently.  Part of the reason is they are in season during this time and can be found with ease in your supermarket’s produce section.  Leeks are a member of the onion family, but they have a slightly sweeter flavor.  They are a nutritious addition to your menu, as they are fat free, cholesterol free, very low in sodium, an excellent source of Vitamin A, and a good source of Vitamin C and folate.  While you can substitute leeks in place of onions, there are some terrific recipes specifically set aside for using these savory veggies.

leek
Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters

 

This Caramelized Leek Quiche can be made for a brunch or a meatless dinner entrée.  This recipe has you make your own crust, which is a special treat!  You’ll combine sliced leeks, eggs, grated gruyere cheese, milk, fresh thyme, heavy cream, salt and pepper to create the quiche.

caramelized-leek-quiche
Courtesy of Martha Stewart

 

Simple, yet elegant is how I’d describe Leeks with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette.  It’s a beautiful side dish to make for guests.  You’ll saute the leeks in olive oil and butter and then add chicken stock and parsley to the pan.  Simmer until the leeks are tender. Arrange the leeks on a serving platter.  Add lemon juice and Dijon mustard to the pan and whisk to combine.  Season with salt and pepper and pour the vinaigrette over the leeks and serve.

roasted-leeks-with-lemon-vinaigrette
Courtesy of Blue Kitchen

 

Porri al Forno or Leeks Baked in Cream is another simple side dish, but one that packs a lot of flavor.  Cut your leeks crosswise and have enough to arrange close together in a baking dish.  In a bowl, combine leeks, two cups heavy cream, one cup of parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange in your baking dish with the cut sides up, cover with foil, and bake 60 minutes in a 425 degree oven.  Remove foil and sprinkle with a half cup of parmesan cheese.  Finish baking for another 20 minutes until tender and browned.

baked-leeks
Courtesy of Diary of A Tomato

 

I’m back next Monday with some recipes to help you keep it healthier this holiday season.

 

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