Earlier in the year I began to grow an abundance of vegetables for the family. I sowed a few peppers, onions, calabrese, garlic and my veg of the month, leek. I have chosen this vegetable before in my monthly post, but it was harvested as a winter crop. However, this summer the family and I have enjoyed my young leeks as a mild substitute for spring onions.
This is why I love to grow leeks, they’re so versatile; they can be chopped up and chucked into any dish, hot or cold. The leek is an easy to grow vegetable, that isn’t troubled by the likes of frosts, diseases or pests (although moths are becoming more of a problem over recent years) and they need little attention, especially if you’ll be growing them as a winter crop.
If you like the idea of having leeks as an alternative to one of summer’s finest vegetables, now through to early October is the time to harvest.
Harvesting Young Leeks
When harvesting young leeks simply lift when required, wash them thoroughly and remove leaves and roots. It’s also possible to freeze your beloved young leeks. After lifting, chop the trunks of your vegetables into 2.5cm sections, put each portion in a freezer bag and place in the freezer. Leeks can be kept frozen for up to three months.
I found this superb little recipe, which shows just how wonderful the young leek can be. With young spring leeks, nothing goes to waste; you can eat every part of it, especially the leaves and stems, which become extremely tender once they’re cooked.
Ingredients for 10 rolls
• Spring Leeks
• 150 g (5 oz.) fresh Goat cheese
• Sesame seeds
• 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) alfalfa sprouts
• Salt and pepper
1. Open up the leeks in half lengthwise.
2. Cut off the ends. Separate the leaves and blanch for 4-5 minutes.
3. Drain and stuff with a mixture of goat cheese, sesame seeds and alfalfa sprouts.
4. Roll up the leek leaves and fasten with a wooden pick.
5. Serve cold with soy sauce.