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Beloved by chefs for their delicate flavor, leeks possess a natural sweetness that's a world apart from onions and garlic - its more robust cousins. Leeks are available year round but Spring is their peak season and we're here to help you make the most of this flavorful vegetable.
Part of the secret of cooking leeks is to use only the tender white and light green parts. Cleaning them is easiest if you slice the leeks in half lengthwise and put them in a bowl of cool water so all the grit falls to the bottom. Afterwards, you can dry them and use them in countless savory dishes - everything from eggs and panini to pastas and succulent roasts.
Whether you are a pro at cooking leeks or new to this tasty vegetable, here are some recipes that will help you discover new ways to use it in the kitchen:
CREAMED PEA AND LEEK SOUP WITH CROUTONS
This silky pea soup gets a flavor boost from sautéed leeks, garlic, fresh cream and a few sprigs of mint. Crunchy croutons add a nice bite.
Kick up your Sunday brunch with these savory buckwheat pancakes stuffed with leeks, bacon and gooey Gruyere cheese.
LAMB RACK WITH AN HERB CRUST AND VEGETABLES
This succulent lamb rack is coated in a tasty blend of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and herbs. It is served on a bed of zucchini, leeks and peas cooked in butter until tender.
Cooking leeks with spinach and garlic will yield a wonderful filling for quiche. Try this special recipe with a homemade buttery crust.
HOT SHRIMP CEVICHE
A killer minestrone starts out with leeks, garlic and carrots. You'll love this comforting Italian soup which makes the most of all the veggies lying around your kitchen.
CHARRED LEEKS WITH WHITE ASPARAGUS