Image: Geisha Boy 500
Leeks may be one of the few vegetables you still see at farmstands and farmer's markets in the winter. While they're available grown locally much of the year, leeks are grossly overlooked by most American home cooks. But no longer! Here are six of our favorite leek recipes from around the web, to bring some mildly oniony flavor to your table for this week's Meatless Monday.
Image: Laura Padgett
Let's start things off with a classic: potato-leek soup. Only our healthy version is a far cry from the creamy bisques you'll see in restaurants. This soup subs in nonfat milk, for an allure of creaminess without the fat, all while letting those delicious, seasonal leeks shine through.
Combine two seasonal staples by adding leeks to sweet potatoes for this leek and sweet potato gratin. The sweet root veggie is offset by the mildly oniony flavor of the leeks, which are less overpowering than yellow onions would be.
Wheatberries make a delicious base for a sauté of leeks topped with a poached egg. The leeks are simply cooked in a bit of butter, allowing them to melt and bring out their natural sweetness. As spring creeps up on us (or if you have an indoor herb garden this winter), the addition of chives adds a bit more of that distinctive allium flavor.
Image: Jay Davis
For a simple, warming dish, braised leeks and apples are a winning combination. All you need is some fresh, homemade bread to mop up the sauce, and dinner is served!
For something a bit heartier, combine leeks and mushrooms in this delicious vegetarian lasagna. Slightly different than traditional versions with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, this dish uses cheddar and herbs to play off the earthy flavors in the vegetables.
Sometimes, simple is best, like with our recipe for Turkish leeks and carrots. A few simple seasonings like lemon and dill, and this dish -- alongside some basmati rice -- is the perfect way to enjoy this delicious vegetable.