Leeks are a vegetable from the Allium or onion family. the edible portion of the plant is the long stalk. the vegetable actually resembles a very large green onion, and is quite mild in flavor considering the size of the plant. the darker green section of the plant would be the most tough, whereas the light green and white onion sections are very soft and mild to taste.
leeks are one of the main ingredients to the french soup named vichyssoise. this soup is often called leek and potato soup.
i used three large leeks which reduce in size greatly when braised on the stove. the side dish was delicious and complemented our Easter ham and potatoes nicely. leeks are considered a spring vegetable, making it a nice choice for a spring holiday meal.
to make braised leeks: remove the stem section of the leeks and slice the leeks in half lengthwise. soak them while separating the layers in cold water until very clean. in a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, and add one white onion if desired to the pot. saute until tender. i chose not to add onion to the dish. next, add the sliced leeks along with 2 cups of beef broth and seasonings to taste. i used salt, black and red pepper to taste. other choices would be to add one bay leaf and 2 whole cloves. cover the leeks and simmer for about 30 minutes until very tender.
i cooked the leeks until almost all of the broth had evaporated and the leeks were very tender.
serve hot and steamy. delicious !