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Fresh Look: Leeks & How to Cook Them

Apr 12, 2017 02:00PM ● Published by Becca Newell

By Becca Newell // Recipes by Main & Market in Annapolis // Photography by Tony Lewis, Jr.

From the obscure to the obvious, we are fortunate to have access to an abundance of fresh produce in our region. To that end, we’re kicking-off our new Dining section feature—offering three fresh takes on selected seasonal produce— with a vegetable that leans more to the obscure side—Leeks.

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When selecting leeks, opt for firm stalks with an unblemished white part and crisp, green leaves
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In comparison to other varieties of the allium family (see: shallots and garlic), leeks are less a kitchen staple and more a farmer’s market impulse purchase. This season’s pick highlights the onion’s long-lost cousin with recipes that will convince you to start showing leeks a little love.

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Preliminary research suggests allium vegetables have anticarcinogenic properties. In animal-based studies, a higher intake of these veggies reduced the risk of several types of cancer.
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Pan Seared Scallops with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Crispy Leeks

 

Slice 1 leek into matchstick strips and deep fry in canola oil at 325 to 350 degrees. Fry until golden brown, about 30 to 60 seconds. Use slotted spoon to remove leeks from oil and transfer to paper towel to drain. Finish with salt and pepper. Season 5 scallops with salt and pepper and pan sear with a dash of canola oil for one and a half to two minutes per side. Top each scallop with crispy fried leeks.

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Add homemade sundried tomato pesto for a zesty bite
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Full Recipe

  • 12 10/15 scallops
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup sundried tomato pesto (see recipe below)
  • ½ cup crispy leeks (see recipe below)

Sundried Tomato Pesto
  • 2 cups oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 c Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 4 T chopped onion
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c fresh basil
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley

Place all ingredients in the food processer until a coarse paste consistency is reached.  

Crispy Fried Leeks

4 cups matchstick size strips (washed and dried) white and pale green parts only canola oil for frying

Deep fry leeks in canola oil at 325-350 degrees. Fry until golden brown, 30-60 seconds. Use slotted spoon to remove from oil and transfer leeks to paper towel to drain. Finish with salt and pepper

Season scallops with salt and pepper. Pan sear scallops in a hot pan with a little bit of canola oil for one and a half to two minutes on each side. Top each scallop with a dollop of sundried tomato pesto and crispy fried leeks.


Luscious Leek Latkes

 

Drain 4 cups of peeled, shredded potato in a cheesecloth to extract as much moisture as possible. Add to a medium bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of grated onion, 4 beaten eggs, 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 1 cup julienned sautéed leeks (washed), and 2 teaspoons of salt. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 cup of canola oil. Once the oil is hot, place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet, pressing down the mixture to form half-inch-thick patties. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot!

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Pair latkes with a grilled salmon filet and lemon aioli for a simple, yet flavorful meal
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Full Recipe

Lemony leek salmon
  • 4-7oz salmon filets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Potato leek latke (see recipe below)
  • 30 asparagus
  • Lemon aioli (see recipe below)
  • Crispy fried leeks (see recipe below)

Potato Leek Latke
  • 4 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 cup julienned sautéed leeks (washed)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup canola oil for frying

Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot!

Crispy Fried Leeks
  • 4 cups matchstick size strips (washed and dried) white and pale green parts only canola oil for frying

Deep fry leeks in canola oil at 325-350 degrees. Fry until golden brown, 30-60 seconds. Use slotted spoon to remove from oil and transfer leeks to paper towel to drain. Finish with salt and pepper

Lemon Aioli
  • 1 cup mayo
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sherry
  • 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together

Season salmon filets with salt and pepper and cook on the grill for three to five minutes on each side. Season asparagus with salt and pepper and grill for approximately seven to ten minutes.

Drizzle lemon aioli on bottom of plate. Place potato leek latke in center of plate topped with grilled salmon and grilled asparagus. Place fried crispy leeks beside grilled asparagus.


Bacon Potato Leek Frittata

 

Combine the following ingredients in a bowl: 6 eggs, 3 cups of peeled, shredded potato (drained in cheesecloth), 6 ounces of chopped, softened sundried tomatoes, a cup of chopped bacon, 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic, 1 julienned sautéed leek, 4 cups of Havarti cheese, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, half a cup of panko breadcrumbs, 2 dashes of hot sauce, 2 ounces of melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Press into a greased pan and cook at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool and cut into triangles.

Full Recipe

  • 6 whole eggs
  • 3 cups shredded potato (drained in cheesecloth)
  • 6oz chopped softened sundried tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped bacon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 julienned sautéed Leek (washed)
  • 4 cups shredded havarti cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • ½ cup panko
  • 2 dashes of hot sauce
  • 2oz melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all above ingredients together. Press into a greased pan and cook at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool and cut into triangles.

Eat+Drink+Shop recipe produce Vegetable what's up? healthy living april annapolis 2017 april eastern shore 2017 Fresh Look leeks
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