LEEKS: Adding depth to delicious holiday dishes
- Leeks are ideal in sauces, vegetable dishes, soups, casseroles and stir-fries. Major commercial varieties of leeks include Pinola, Titan, Arkansas, Derik, Palino and Unique, all of which bear the characteristic thick white stem and blue-green leaves.
- Good quality leeks are firm, smooth and free of blemishes. Leaves should be unfaded. Rounded bulb bottoms may indicate old age – be sure to look for flat bottoms. Leeks should be bound in several places to prevent leaf damage.
- Trim any bruised or damaged leaves before storing. Keep leeks damp and loosely wrapped in the refrigerator for up to one week at 32 F (0 C).
- To prepare, trim roots and any wilted green ends before removing toughest outer layer. Chop or slice and rinse thoroughly in cold running water to remove any grit or sand.
- Nutrition: Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin C, iron and fibre. One cup (250 mL) of raw chopped leeks contains 57 calories.