Leeks are an interesting vegetable. They are white and green and look like scallions, but are not. They are like a gourmet onion. They don’t have the pungency of an onion, but have a delicate onion flavor, and a sweet one at that. They add a subtle flavor to recipes without overpowering other flavors.
Here are some pointers about purchasing leeks:
- Clean white bulbs without any spots or blemishes are the freshest leeks
- Firm, dark green leafs that are not wilted are also an indication of the freshness of leeks
Cleaning and preparation of leeks is also important to be aware of. Leeks are grown in trench like settings deep in the soil. Once they are ready, they are pulled out of the soil. So, how should you clean them?
- Rinse the entire leek from top to bottom under running water
- Once you cut it up, place the cut pieces in a container cold water. This will let the soil and other debris to loosen and settle to the bottom of the container
- Using your hands, pick out the cut pieces from the container and place into a colander, and re-rinse under running water
- Pat dry with paper towel
Leeks cannot be eaten raw, because they will have a harsh flavor. Starting from white portion of the leeks, following the light green portion and up until the dark green leafy portion can be consumed. The dark green leafs are tough and are difficult to consume straight. They can be cooked for a long time to soften and used in fillings or in soups, or it can be simply be used to flavor homemade broths.
Leeks can be prepared in many different ways. They can sliced vertically into juliennes or can be sliced into ringlets. Because of their mild onion flavor, leeks work great as an onion replacement and in many different vegetable combinations. They can be sauteed or pureed.
This “green” subzi has leeks and green beans, but is ripe for customization with vegetables and seasonings. The subzi is a simple saute with my choice of simple seasonings and be served with hot, fresh rotis.
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||15 minutes|
- Leeks – 2, sliced into ringlets
- Green Beans – Fresh or frozen, 1.5 cups
Spices & Herbs
- Fresh Ginger – 1 tbsp, chopped
- Cumin Seeds (Jeera) – 1/2 tbsp
- Salt – As per taste
- Haldi (Turmeric Powder) – 1 tsp
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – 1.5 tsp (For a milder spice, use Paprika powder)
- Dhania (Corainder Powder) – 1 tsp
- Tandoori Masala (Optional) – 1/2 tsp
- Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves) – A handful to sprinkle
- Cooking Oil – 1-2 tbsp
- In a pan, add oil and and jeera. Let the jeera splutter
- Add the chopped ginger and saute for 30 seconds
- Add the green beans and saute until they have cooked all but a little
- Add salt, haldi, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Mix. Add a sprinkle of water to de-glaze the pan
- Add the leek ringlets, mix and cook (with lid covered) for 3-4 minutes. Make sure the ringlets are not a mush, but have become tender
- Add tandoori masala and kasuri methi. Mix well and cook (with the lid open) for an additional 1-2 minutes
- Take the pan off the heat. Serve the subzi with fresh, hot rotis
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