Food for Thought: Plugging Leeks | KNKX

Food for Thought: Plugging Leeks

Apr 27, 2016

Though its population, at a mere three million or so is relatively small, the language of Wales uses up as much as 80 percent of the world's supply of consonants. The Welsh national symbol is the leek.  Fortunately they’ve left plenty of those for the rest of us.

On this week’s Food for Thought learn how to grow new leeks from old.

Just cut off the root end with about four inches of the white part.  Plant it in a pot or garden or suspend with toothpicks in a jar of water, avocado style.  You can do this with carrots and celery, too.  Here's how. 

Nancy loves leeks, too.  She tells me that the French call them “The poor man’s asparagus.”  To which I observed that anyone who’s checked their price at the market recently wouldn’t call them the “poor man’s” anything —  which is all the more reason to grow your own.  Nance says that though leeks take a long time to mature – as much as three months,  "...because they’re tall and slim they don’t take up a lot of room.”

Planted from cuttings and...They're...Aliiiiive!
Credit Stein

I intend to plant a couple of rows this spring.  Meantime, I have my re-born leeks from root-end cuttings.  True, I may be meddling with forces far beyond my comprehension, but it’s so much fun.

Here’s a recipe for a Sichuan-style chicken soup with leeks that I like very much.

Dick's Tips: How to clean leeks.

Lay the leek flat on the board.  Cut off the dark green part (Nancy saves this to roast and add to vegetable stock).  Without cutting through the root, end draw your knife lengthwise all the way through the leek. Turn it 90 degrees and repeat.  The leek-meat falls into four long parts. Using the root end as a handle, spray or swish in water and Bob's yer uncle.

"Well loved he garleek, oynons, and eek lekes."  –  Geoffey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales