Leek Technique: Our Favorite Ways To Cook Leeks

Similar to their onion cousins, leeks are much more versatile than first meets the eye. We’re not complaining though; we love their mild flavor and subtle sweetness whether it’s in the oven, on the stove, or plopped into a pot. Match your dish to the perfect technique with this guide.

Braising

Can we all just agree that braised leeks are phenomenal? The technique (most commonly utilized in the leek vinaigrette side dish), brings a unique, layered texture to the plate that wouldn’t be possible without the cooking process. While you can sear small leek pieces before boiling, it’s worth trying to cook halved leeks too; they offer some fantastic presentation. 

Blanching

Whether you’re in a rush or would rather divert your attention to something else in your kitchen, blanching your leeks can help you save some serious time. Better yet, blanching helps your leeks maintain a wonderful crunch and stark-white texture!

Roasting 

Other cold weather veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts have some of their best moments when roasted, so why shouldn’t leeks join the party? With a peak season running from January to May, leeks can slide into any roasted winter veggie recipe. 

Frying

For a unique take on onion straws, try frying julienned leeks! They make a similar, yet sweeter substitute, and work great on everything from burgers to seasonal items like green bean casseroles. They tend to be brighter in color as well, often maintaining some of their white or light green color, but it can be hidden by adding extra breadcrumbs. 

Grilling

There’s something inherently satisfying about firing up the grill and seeing those beautiful grill marks decorate your meal. If you’ve ever grilled asparagus, you should have a handle on how to approach grilled leeks; prep them beforehand and cook them sideways across the grill under they’re nice and tender. Alternatively, you can skewer smaller pieces to add to other dishes. 

Steaming

Here at Colorful Plates, we keep it steamy. Well, our vegetables at least. Steamed leeks have a wonderfully balanced airy tenderness that pairs great with citrus, vinaigrettes, and some simple salt and pepper. You can’t go wrong with a cream sauce for dipping either!