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leek

 

Botanical name: Allium porrum


Porree

 

The leek is probably a cultivar of the field leek or summer leek (Allium ampeloprasum) that grows wild in the Mediterranean region and was already grown in ancient Egypt, in Greece and in the Roman Empire. In Egypt leeks were regarded as a nutritious food and as a "pick-me-up". In Central Europe leeks were already common during the Middle Ages.

The cultivation of leeks is concentrated in Europe, almost half of the acreage being in France.


Availability


Leeks can be bought all year round.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


The leek forms a straight, white, almost closed stalk that is, however, not tightly solid. Towards the top are broad, green leaves that separate from one another.

The leek has a piquant-bitter, onion-like taste but is considerably milder than the onion.


Ingredients


The leek owes its typical flavour to essential oils (allyl isothiocyanate) and aromatic substances. It is a very valuable medicinal plant. Its sulphurous ingredients have a healing effect and inhibit infection, for example.

100 g contain:

Leek,
fresh
Porree,
cooked
Energie (kcal)
26
23
Wasser (g)
90
91
Eiweiß (g)
2
2
Fett (g)
< 1
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
3
3
Ballaststoffe (g)
2
2
Vitamin C (mg)
24
12
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
167
167
Folsäure (µg)
56
31
Kalium (mg)
235
132
Natrium (mg)
5
4
Calcium (mg)
87
93
Magnesium (mg)
18
12
Eisen (mg)
1,0
0,8



Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


Be sure to buy leeks with undamaged stalks and fresh green leaves. They can be kept in the refrigerator for about 4 days. As leeks transmit their onion-like scent to aroma-sensitive foods such as butter or apples, it is better to store them separately. Leeks freeze well.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Leeks are a tasty vegetable whether raw, braised or cooked. The white stalk and some of the green leaves are used. Before cutting it is important to wash them thoroughly, as there is often sand and earth between the leaves. It is a good idea to cut the leek open lengthwise, below the leaves, so that the stalk remains together and can be rinsed well under running water.

Then the leek is cut into rings or thin strips. Leeks play a role not only as a vegetable side dish but also in casseroles, quiches, soups or sauces.

Leeks are processed industrially as dried herbs for flavouring, deep-frozen products or tinned goods.


Seasoning tip


Leeks taste good with curry, chervil, bay leaf, nutmeg, paprika, parsley or thyme.

 

 

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