This week’s Produce Box features baby leeks. They kind of look like really big green onions or scallions, but they also look like smallish regular leeks. It’s confusing, right? Well, we’re here to give you a little Onion 101 because not all onions are created equal.
- Baby leeks are in the Allium family, along with leeks, green onions, garlic, chives, shallots, and yellow, red, and white onions. However, they don’t form bulbs or produce cloves like their cousins because they’re harvested early.
- Why harvest them early? Baby leeks pack a ton of flavor! They taste a lot like their much larger namesake, but are bolder, sweeter, and more tender. Another advantage is that baby leeks are a lot easier to clean than bigger leeks.
- Baby leeks can be stored unwashed in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator. Leave the roots on until you’re ready to use them to help them retain moisture. When you do slice off those roots, pop them in a jar of water and leave them on the windowsill. They’ll keep growing!
- How do you use them? To prepare baby leeks, peel off some of the outer layers of the stalk and rinse well. You’ll want to cut off the darker ends of the stalks and use the white and light green parts. Save the ends, though- they are great for making stock.
- You can cut baby leeks into rounds, slice them lengthwise, or leave them whole. They are great eaten raw in a salad or as a pizza topping, delicious caramelized, and are really yummy roasted or grilled. Just remember to blanch them before roasting or grilling so they retain their coloring and don’t burn.