On St David's Day, here are 7 lovely ways to treat the leeks in your life:
1. Leeks In Vinagrette: boil up some leeks, or if you're posh, griddle them. Then slosh over some vinagrette, shredded hard boiled egg and maybe some chives to make it look pretty. Voila!
2.Sausage, Beans and Leeks: Fry up some sausages, or bung them in the oven. Add your leeks, same number of sausages and some garlic. Add a tin of tomatoes, tin of cannellini beans and any old dried thyme, oregano or rosemary you got lying around. Works with a veggie sausage too. Give it 30 mins gentle simmer, or cook in med oven.
3. Leek Lasagne: Fry your leeks for a couple of minutes and add to some cheese sauce. If you're making your own melt a couple of tablespoons of butter with a couple of tablespoons of flour, stir like mad, then slowly pour in hot milk and keep stirring. Then chuck in some cheese, whatever you fancy. Make a quick tomato sauce with tinned tomatoes cooked for 10 mins, maybe some herbs, garlic and butter added. Chuck in anything else interesting you fancy, like mushrooms, chicken or tuna. Layer up the sauces and lasagne sheets, and give it half an hour in a medium oven. Grate some cheese on top ... bueno appetito!
4. Mujadara: Bit more exotic here... but dead simple and good for vegans and veggies. Shred and fry up 2 leeks for a long time, 30 - 40 mins, till they go crispy brown. Par boil for 10 mins some lentils. Then add some rice and cook together till they are both soft.Drain and add some parsley, olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice and stir the leeks through, leaving some bits to decorate the top.
5. Turkish Leeks: Boil a cup each of rice, finely diced carrots and leeks - start with rice 20 mins, carrots 10 mins and leeks 5 minutes, drain and let cool to room temperature. Add vinagrette and any herbs you fancy. Serve as side dish or part of a meze. St David was very keen on mezes, it is said.
6. Leek and Chicken Pie: You don't have to put the chicken in this if you're veggie. Fry up some leeks and add same amount cooked chicken. Add white sauce, as in lasagne recipe and salt and pepper. Put in pie dish and cover with rolled out ready made puff pastry. In the over for 30 mins maybe, medium setting, and brush top with milk or egg to make it golden. Give it a bit of oomph with sprinkling paprika in the sauce, maybe...
7. Leek Soup: Fry up a couple of leeks and add a sliced spud. Add some stock - veggie or chicken as you prefer. Simmer for 20 minutes then liquidize. Add salt and pepper and a slosh of cream for decadence. If you want to make it more substantial add some cooked chicken, fried red pepper and tin of sweetcorn. Paprika or cayenne pepper maybe too. Now you have a leek and chicken chowder. Yee haw... or as we say in Wales, iechyd da! Lovely it is with a pint or two of Welsh cwrw...