Leeks in wheelbarrow

What is a plumbers favorite vegetable?

Leeks are in the Allium family which includes onions, shallots, garlic and scallions.  Looking like large scallions, leeks have a sweet, mild oniony taste and the preferred edible part of the plant is the white lower part of the cylindrical stem although the green top of the stem can be used as well.  Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of manganese, vitamin B6, folate, iron and vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber.
Leek is an onion
In the Camp Korey garden, we start growing leeks from seed, under lights in a warm room, in February of each year.  We plant them out in the garden in April and start harvesting for the kitchen in late September.  Fairly cold hardy, we can continue harvest through the winter as long as the weather is mild.  Leeks are a favorite vegetable to harvest by the garden crew as they give off a deliciously sweet oniony smell upon cleaning before being transported to the Camp Korey kitchen.
In the Camp Korey kitchen, leeks are used in salad dressings, quiches, pastas, you name it, they are pretty versatile.

From Kim’s Kitchen:

Leek Vinaigrette
The keys to success start with good ingredients (since there are so few in the mix, it pays to reach for the top-shelf stuff) and end with emulsification, thoroughly blending the oil’s fat molecules and the watery vinegar. Adding a touch of creamy Dijon mustard helps the emulsification ­happen more easily.
Servings: 10
Yield: 1 cup
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Recipe Type: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Sauce, Soy Free, Vegetables, Vegetarian
Tools: Blender or Immersion Blender
1 leek, white only, thinly sliced
1 shallot thinly sliced
1 Tbsp oil for sautéing
½ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ lemon, juiced

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan. Once hot, add the sliced shallots and leeks, Cook stirring often, until they start to turn brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Purée shallots, leeks, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and honey in a blender until smooth; season with salt.

Yes, it’s impossibly easy to make a vinaigrette from scratch. But that’s no reason to do it for every salad. A glass jar is your best friend here. Instead of whisking together dressing in a bowl, just add everything (including salt and/or pepper, of course) to a jar, cap it closed. It will keep for weeks in the fridge. Just let it come to room temperature, so the oil liquifies, and shake to re-mix.
Click here for printable version of this recipe.
Author: Kim Aue, Executive Chef at Camp Korey, 12/2015