I really like leeks. They’re certainly one of my favourite greens for stir fries, salads, soups and extra. They’ve an exquisite delicate taste and I just like the stiff texture. This is how one can retailer leeks so to take pleasure in them year-around.
– Commercial –
The leek is a cousin of the onion, initially hailing from Central Asia. They resemble spring onions or scallions besides they’re greater in measurement. When shopping for from a grocery store or harvesting in your personal backyard, select leeks which might be agency and smaller than 2.5 inches in diameter. They need to even have straight, lush darkish inexperienced leaves. Keep away from shopping for leaves with yellowing or wilting tops.
Leeks are in season within the fall and spring in america, between September and April. Relying in your preservation methods, leeks can final between a number of days to as much as a yr.
Historical past of Leeks
The standard leek has a really notable historical past. Since historic occasions, the Egyptians and later the Romans consumed this vegetable. Legend has it that the Roman emperor Nero beloved consuming this vegetable as a result of he believed it might enhance the standard of his voice. Since Nero has been lifeless a very long time, this declare can’t be verified. Nevertheless, it’s true that leek is a superfood and isn’t just in excessive in fiber but in addition flavonoids, folate and polyphenols, which scale back the danger of blood vessel injury and coronary heart circumstances.
The leek was additionally launched in Europe in the course of the center ages and is Wales’ nationwide vegetable, depicted on the nation’s nationwide emblem. The truth is, Welshmen cross down tales that the leek saved Wales in the course of the battle of Heathfield in 633 AD.
Legend has it that a Celtic monk, David, steered the Welsh military put on leeks on their helmets in order that they could possibly be differentiated towards the Saxons. The Welsh military was victorious and the leek turned a very good luck allure. The monk was named as St.David or Dewi Sant. To this present day, Welshmen rejoice St. David’s Day by sporting leeks on their garments.
The cultivation of this vegetable unfold to North America in the course of the arrival of the primary settlers.
With such a wealthy historical past, it’s a disgrace to let a distinguished vegetable, just like the leek, go to waste. Listed here are a couple of choices on easy methods to protect leaks. However first, you have to know the right way to correctly clear them.
How To Clear Leeks
Since leeks are embedded deep into the earth, they harbor loads of soil. Earlier than cooking and typically even storing leeks, you could guarantee they’re cleaned correctly. To try this, minimize off the basis and the darkish inexperienced leaves. Make an answer of 1 half vinegar and three half water and immerse the greens in it. The unfastened dust will fall off. You may as well use a mushy veggie brush to wash off a number of the extra cussed dust particles. Conversely, you possibly can minimize the leek lengthwise in half that will help you get on the caked in filth. Separate the layers underneath chilly water and clear them out. Put the washed leeks in a colander to empty them. You’ll be able to slice the vegetable and prepare dinner it up or retailer it.
Notice: The darkish inexperienced leaves are sometimes thrown away however some individuals prepare dinner them up in broth to chop down on waste.
7 Methods to Retailer Leeks
Relying on how recent the leek is, the vegetable can final anyplace from 5 days to 2 weeks. Leeks may be refrigerated, frozen, canned or pickled for storage. Leeks have the perfect style when they’re harvested and instantly cooked and consumed.
1. In A Plastic Bag Inside The Fridge
When left open within the fridge, leeks exude a specific aroma that may permeate your fridge and be absorbed by the opposite stuff in your fridge. Should you intend to you employ the leeks inside a few days, frivolously wrap them up in a plastic bag, which can retain moisture and include the odor. Don’t wash, trim or reduce leeks earlier than storing. Place them within the crisper/hydrator drawer of your fridge.
Nevertheless, when you anticipate to make use of the leeks a number of days later, a good suggestion is to frivolously wrap them up in a humid towel and safe a rubber band across the bundle. Put it inside a perforated plastic bag, which can assist it include moisture. Then place the greens within the crisper drawer of your fridge. You possibly can then use the leeks for about 10 days.
Cooked leeks are extremely perishable and wouldn’t have an prolonged shelf life. Even when positioned within the fridge, cooked leeks can solely stay recent as much as one or two days. Smaller leeks are likely to last more than bigger leeks.
Don’t wash or trim the darkish leaves off the leeks earlier than placing them in a fridge. This invitations rot. Leeks are greatest saved at 32 levels Fahrenheit and 95-100 humidity. At hotter temperature, leeks lose their inexperienced shade, flip yellow and begin to decay. Be certain that your fridge is excessive in humidity to stop wilting.
If you end up able to eat the leek, minimize off the basis and the inexperienced leaves. Then slice the leek in half, immerse it in a vinegary answer and wash out the filth embedded between the layers. It’s then protected to prepare dinner and eat.
2. Within the Freezer
When you’ve got lots of leeks that may’t be saved in a fridge, you’ll be able to freeze them. First, it’s essential to reduce off the darkish inexperienced leaves, the basis and slice the leek in half. Subsequent, completely wash the leeks after which minimize them into half-moon formed slices.
Lots of people place the slices in zip-lock luggage and let the greens freeze. Nevertheless, the easiest way is to first boil some water, put a pinch of salt in it and blanch the leeks for 30 seconds to a minute. Blanching earlier than freezing ensures the leeks don’t lose their inexperienced shade.
There are two methods you possibly can freeze this vegetable. The better technique includes placing the blanched leeks right into a zip-lock bag and freezing them.
The second technique requires a little bit of endurance however the outcomes are higher. Place the leak slices on a baking tray lined with a waxed paper in order that they don’t stick with the tray. Ensure the leeks are positioned in a single layer and usually are not touching one another. Place them within the freezer. As soon as frozen, take the tray out and slide the just-frozen items right into a zip-lock plastic bag. Freezing leeks on this method ensures they don’t clump collectively and you may take out a handful anytime you need. This technique takes time and a much bigger freeze area for the tray.
You’ll be able to retailer these leeks within the freezer for about three months to a yr. Nevertheless, frozen leeks often lose a few of their texture and style.
three. With A Photo voltaic Meals Dryer
A photo voltaic meals dryer includes a trays which sits behind a tilted polycarbonate sheeting or glass window. Under the trays is a black-painted metallic shelf, which absorbs warmth.
You’ll be able to wash the leeks, slice them thinly and place it on the tray within the photo voltaic meals dryer in a single layer. The meals dryer will use the power of the solar to dehydrate the leeks. The cool air will enter a vent on the backside, shall be warmed by the solar’s rays by means of the glass or polycarbonate sheeting and the nice and cozy air will escape outdoors the highest vent, taking moisture with it.
Good polycarbonate screens can permit as a lot as 80% of solar publicity and the temperature can rise to cooking inside a couple of minutes and may attain 100 to 150 levels. In a couple of hours, the leeks will probably be dehydrated and you need to use them all through the winter.
four. Retailer Leeks in Water
Slightly than refrigerating leeks, you possibly can retailer them in water, for those who intend to eat them inside a day or two. Take a big jar and place chilly water in it. Then put the leaks into the water. The leeks will keep recent for 2 days. Simply make sure the temperature in your kitchen is just not too scorching or humid, in any other case the leeks might wilt. Whether it is, place them in one other cool, dry, ethereal area.
5. In Canning Jars
Take a pot, giant sufficient to carry all the leeks. Fill it with water, add a pinch of salt and convey it to boil. Additionally put together a big bowl of ice water, giant sufficient for the leeks. Then take the leeks and reduce off a lot of the darkish inexperienced leaves, leaving one-fourth inch of the greens on every stalks.
Place the leeks within the boiling water and blanch them for 30 seconds. Then shortly take away them and put them within the ice water to cease them from cooking additional. Drain the greens on the colander and as soon as utterly dry, put them inside a canning jar.
Take a saucepan and warmth a mix of vinegar, salt, sugar, peppercorn, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, pink chili flakes, thyme and water. As soon as the water is boiled and the sugar is totally dissolved, take the combination off the warmth and pour it instantly on the leeks within the canning jars.
Shut the lids tightly and permit the combination to chill utterly. Then retailer the mixtures contained in the fridge. You need to use these leeks for the subsequent two or three months.
6. In a Root Cellar
Maintain your leeks closely mulched within the backyard till winter comes and the bottom hardens. Then rigorously dig up the greens, ensuring they’re intact. Take a deep bucket, fill it soil after which place the leeks upright contained in the earth. The optimum temperature in your root cellar must be 32 diploma Fahrenheit. These saved leeks can final three to 4 months. A number of the greatest styles of leek to protect in root cellars are Area leeks, Big Musselburgh leeks, Nebraska leeks, Elephant leeks and Zermatt leeks.
7. By Cooking In Olive Oil
Wash your leeks completely utilizing the tactic given above after which slice the vegetable into half moon shapes. Then take some olive oil and prepare dinner the sliced leeks in it. As soon as carried out, place them in a container and freeze.
Alternatively, you may as well make a leek puree. Blanch the leaves and mix the leaves, leeks and bulb in a meals processor. Keep in mind so as to add an excellent quantity of extra-virgin olive oil in order that it purees easily. As soon as carried out, take out ice dice trays and fill them with the leek oil. Then freeze the oil earlier than coming out every dice and putting them into zip-lock luggage or container. This can be a nice concept for if you need to taste your stew or soups with leek. This manner, you’ll be able to simply take out a few cubes and allow them to soften in your meals in the course of the cooking course of.
You can even merely pour the puree into freezer luggage or container, with out first placing it into ice dice trays. Nevertheless, you’ll then have to attend for it to thaw sufficient to hack out chunks, when it’s worthwhile to prepare dinner it in meals.
Leeks present a flavorful chew to your meals. With their distinctive mixture of sulfur-containing vitamins and flavonoids, leeks ought to be included in your food plan regularly. Analysis recommends having at the very least a half cup portion of leeks day by day and together with a minimum of one cup of chop leeks in your recipes.