Sometimes called “The poor man’s asparagus,” leeks, the mildest members of
the onion family, have a wonderful, sweet flavor and can really steal the
show. Al Hashulchan, Israel’s leading food magazine, gives leeks the
credit they deserve in this month's issue.
❖ Shopping: All vegetables are
best when freshest but with leeks, this is especially important because old
leeks are fibrous and not as tasty. Fresh uncooked leeks, on the other hand, can
even be added to a salad.
In the wintertime, leeks do not need
to be refrigerated; but when the weath- er begins to turn hot, it’s better to
store them in the fridge, otherwise the stalks will wilt and soften.❖
Leeks usually have dirt hiding between the stalks. To clean them
properly, cut along the length of the stalks, separate the pieces and then soak
them in water.
One kilogram of leeks equals four cups of
chopped leeks, which makes only two cups after they’ve been cooked.❖
Leeks enrich the flavor of cheeses and all types of meat and fish. Herbs
that enhance the leeks’ flavor include parsley, thyme and sage. Other additions
that go well with leeks are white wine, mustard, lemon and garlic.❖
Leeks can successfully replace onions in a recipe, but the
opposite does not always work.
WARM CABBAGE, LEEK AND APPLE DISHMakes 6
This is a dish that can be served with a meat or chicken meal but can
also be served on its own.✔
50 gr. butter or margarine ✔
2 stalks of
leeks, chopped ✔
2 apples (Granny Smith or Pink Lady) cut into 3-cm. cubes ✔
white or red cabbage, sliced✔
1 cup apple cider ✔
1 tsp. Dijon mustard ✔
and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a pot with a
thick bottom and cook over very low heat for 2 to 3 hours.
set your oven to 150°. Put all the ingredients in a pan and bake for 2 to 3 hours. Stir every
30 minutes and add more liquid if necessary. This is usually not necessary,
since the cabbage secretes liquid as it becomes cooked. Serve warm or at room
WARM LEEK MUSHROOM AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD Makes 4
This is a light and tasty spring dish that is fantastic served on
toast. It can also be used as a topping for pizza or as a base for other
4 Tbsp. olive oil ✔
2 cloves of garlic, sliced ✔
1 red onion,
cut into quarters and sliced ✔
3 stalks of leeks, sliced ✔
3 stalks of thyme ✔
kg. (2 boxes) mushrooms (best if two or more different kinds are used) ✔
and freshly ground pepper to taste ✔
½ cup dry white wine ✔
½ roll of goat
cheese, sliced or crumbled.
Heat a frying pan with 3 Tbsp. olive oil and
sauté the onion, leeks and garlic for 10 minutes over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender and turn golden.
Transfer the cooked vegetables to a
bowl and turn the flame up to maximum.
Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, the
thyme and mushrooms and stir-fry for 3 minutes until they are scorched. Season
the mushroom mixture with salt and pepper. Pour the wine and cook until it has
all evaporated. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon so that no
flavor is lost.
Return the leek mixture into the pan with the mushroom
mixture and stir together for 2 minutes.
Add the goat cheese when ready
❖ Replace the cheese with strips of chicken
❖ Make leek and mushroom scrambled eggs by adding beaten eggs
into the mixture.
❖ Make a frittata: After the cheese has been added, let
all the liquids evaporate (if neces - sary, add 1-2 Tbsp. bread crumbs to
thicken the mixture.) Beat 6 eggs and pour over the mixture. Fry for 4 minutes
until it solidifies. Flip over and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Use as a pasta sauce: Add cooked strained pasta to the wine and leek mixture,
stir together for 2 minutes until the flavors blend, add the goat cheese and
STEAMED CHICKEN BREAST WITH LEEKS AND THYMEMakes 4
Delicate ingredients can sometimes be overwhelmed by the strong flavor
of onions. In these cases, leeks can produce great results. In this recipe,
the chicken breast is steamed with the leeks, thyme and wine, producing a
delicate, elegant dish.
Note: This cooking method can be used to steam
vegetables and fish as well. To make sure that the envelopes are closed, you may
use a stapler or bind with string.✔
4 fresh flattened chicken breasts
(not too thin) ✔
1 leek stalk, sliced into thin rounds ✔
8 thyme sprigs ✔
cloves of garlic, halved ✔
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste ✔
¼ cup white
Preheat your oven to 200°.
Prepare 4 sheets of parchment
Put a chicken breast on each one. Top each chicken piece with
about a quarter of the leek rounds and 2 stalks of thyme.
garlic, salt, pepper and a little bit of wine, and then fold the paper to close
each package tightly.
Place the packages in a baking dish and bake in the
preheated oven for 8 minutes.
Place one package on each plate. Open
carefully; the steam will come out. This dish goes well with mashed potatoes or
Variation: If you prefer cooking thick chicken breasts, add 5
minutes to the cooking time.Recipes and photos were taken from the
April issue of Al Hashulchan .Translated by Hannah Hochner