Creamed Leeks

Creamed Leeks with Asparagus and Chicken

I needed a side dish for dinner the other night. I ended up making this leek dish and I loved how it turned out. This dish was an experiment that just worked. I love when that happens.

I had picked up some leeks at a local market the other day. They looked great, and I thought I might use them in soup. It is normally how I would use them. I am not sure where the idea to “cream” them came from, but I am glad it did.

Leeks are a member of the onion family. They look like green onions on steroids. You want to pick leeks with long, white stems.

Leeks have an onion flavor, but with lovely sweetness. I get asked all the time about how to prep them. They are full of sand and have to be prepped properly so you don’t get any grit in your food. The only edible part is the white and light green parts. The dark green leaves are tasty, but tough and can be used for making stock. Peel off the first layer of leaves. There is often a lot of sand there. Cut off the bottom about 1/2 -inch from the root. You should be able to see the rings, or layers, of the leek when you do this. Trim off any dark green parts at the top. You’ll have a trimmed leek at this point.

Now you have to clean it. Cut the leek lengthwise in half. Hold one half at a time under running water while fanning the leaves to dislodge any dirt. Take the rinsed halves and cut them into 1/2-inch slices. You could also cut them into thin strips, if you like. Place the slices in a large pan or bowl filled with cold water and agitate them to loosen any remaining sand. Use your fingers to separate the layers. Make sure the bowl is deep enough for the leeks to float several inches from the bottom. The leeks will float and the sand and dirt will sink. Let them stand a few minutes and then lift them out of the water to drain. Any grit will be at the bottom of the bowl.

If there is a lot of grit in the bottom of the bowl you might want to repeat the rinsing process one more time. It might sound like a lot of work but it really doesn’t take that much time and the leeks will be completely clean. I often buy a lot of leeks when they are on sale, then clean them all at once. I saute the cleaned leeks in oil and freeze for later use.

For the creamed leeks, I cooked the leeks in butter until soft. Then I added flour, half and half and seasonings. That was pretty much it. I will make these again soon.


Creamed Leeks

2-3 large leeks, trimmed and cleaned, cut into 1/2-inch slices

4 T. butter

5 T. flour

1 1/2 c. half and half

1 T. chopped parsley

salt,  pepper, hot sauce and dill to taste

In pot, combine leeks and butter and cook, covered,  over medium low heat until leeks are tender. Stir every few minutes. Add the flour and stir well. Turn heat up to medium. Slowly add the half and half, cooking until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Simmer a few more minutes to completely cook the flour. You can add a little more half and half if you like. Season to taste and serve. Serves 4.


Fresh Leeks


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