The whites of the leeks are the part under soil and therefore have not absorbed light from the sun to turn green. The white part is more tender than the greens.
Leeks were cultivated by the Romans and Egyptians before they were introduced to the British and the French.
Because they grow deeply in the (sandy) soil they must be cleaned very carefully and between each layer before preparing. Leeks can be eaten raw although they are mostly cooked until tender.
There are many classical ways to cook leeks:
- Braised leeks
- blanched and chilled with vinaigrette
- Leeks with cream
- Leeks au gratin
- Leek and potato soup (Vichyssoise)
- Leek Tarts
- Leeks à la Grèque
Leeks are used in stocks, soups, stews, braised dishes. They are mild and pair well with so many other vegetables, meats, poultry dishes, fish dishes, and egg dishes.