Hello, welcome to the land of the leek. Glad you visited us today. Did you know, we are one of the national emblems of Wales, worn along with the beautiful daffodil flower? Like onions, we're part of the Lily family and have a sweet, mild onion taste.
We're a round long-stemmed vegetable with a slightly thickened, white base. Our thick stem consists of long broad leaves which tightly enclose each other. Our stem is white because it is whitened when it is being grown. Our leaves range from white at the base to dark -green at the tops.
Our tasty stems (the white parts) are crispy when raw and soften and taste great when we’re cooked.
We're available all year round and at our best value from April to November
We're not sold by variety in Australia, however, small leeks are grown and sold as baby or pencil leeks.
We're extremely hardy, tall plants which can grow up to 1.5 metres. We have a white long stem topped with wide green leaves on the top of our stems We are grown in trenches or with the soil piled up around the lower part of our stalk so we don’t see the sunlight. This ensures that our stalk is very white and tender to eat.
We're harvested, mostly 5-6 months after planting, by pulling us whole from the ground. Our roots and leaves are then trimmed. We're more difficult to harvest than other onions because we're deeper in the soil and our roots are more knotted at the time of harvest.
Select those of us with clean, crisp, white stems and fresh-looking green tops. Small (sometimes called pencil or baby leeks) to medium-size leeks are the most tender and have a mild flavour.
Store us in a recyclable bag in the veggie crisper in your fridge.
Leeks are grown predominantly in Victoria.
We were enjoyed in Egypt as long ago as 3000 BC, making us a very ancient vegetable. The Romans liked us and we were probably spread through Europe to the British Isles by the Romans during their conquests.
Our seeds were brought to Australia in 1788 on the First Fleet and we have been popular here ever since.
Trim off our roots and our dark green tops. Only the white part is used in cooking (save the leaves for making stock). Peel off our outer layer. Spread the leaves or cut us in half lengthways and wash under cold water to remove any dirt.
We can be used instead of onion in recipes.
We are great for roasting, pan-frying and a good in soups, pies, casseroles and quiches.
Try these recipes from Sydney Markets that use leeks;