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Today’s Harvest: Leeks

20 leeks

What to do with a surplus of leeks

More elegant and refined than an onion, leeks become silky and sweet when cooked. They’re the base of soups or risottos, partner to fish or potatoes. There is no shortage of recipes for leeks. But just in case you come into a surplus, as I just did in my garden, here are a few ways to use them in a hurry.

Dry leeks

Rehydrate them later for use in recipes. Here’s an oven method for drying leeks but you can also use a food dehydrator.

Freeze leeks

Clean and chop leeks. Pre-freeze them on a cookie sheet on a single layer (to prevent sticking together). Then put them in a freezer bag.

Make stock

With leek recipes, you generally use only the green and light green part. But don’t toss the dark green parts. They’re great for making stock. There are a million variations on vegetable stock. The easiest is to toss leeks, potato, carrots, celery and garlic (for starters) into a pot with water and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the vegetables.

Nip the bud

As if having too many leeks weren’t enough, you might also have let yours begin to flower (the Dr. Seuss-like tips shown above), as I have done. Like garlic tops (or garlic whistles), leek tops are delicious grilled or roasted. Chop them up and add to green, grain or bean salads. Toss into eggs or pasta. Or just eat them like an asparagus spear.

Let ’em bloom

Forget eating, leave some leeks in the garden and let them bloom. The long flower stems are just what the Dr. (Seuss) ordered for a wacky and wonderful look.