Gardening where the sidewalk ends

I Sprung a Leek June 12, 2009

Filed under: recipes,veggies — greenwalks @ 4:31 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

For the first time in many years, one of my over-wintered leeks (yes, just one, but it’s better than none!) grew to normal grocery-store size and I was able to harvest it. If I plant these again, I need to do some better research on optimal planting time and conditions, since I do love their flavor and it was fun to pick one right out of the garden. Here is mine, all cleaned up:

Cleaned up leek from the garden

The roots had 50 tons of dirt on them, which made me think that I need to get a better set-up for washing veggies outside. I remember doing that when I was a kid, using a stiff brush to get the worst of the soil off before bringing in carrots and other tasty treats.

I had to buy a second leek to make one of my all-time most cherished recipes, Three-Onion Risotto (click here to find it on Food & Wine, which was my favorite cooking mag back when I had time to cook non-kid food), but did get to clip some fresh chives to use as a garnish. First real harvest meal of the summer, including outside leaves from the lettuce starts my mom gave me a few weeks ago. Yum! Eating anything good out of the garden this week?


13 Responses to “I Sprung a Leek”

  1. I’ve tried to grow leeks a few times, but have not been successful with them. Right now, I have already harvested a few tomatoes and most recently, carrot thinnings that I have used in salads!

  2. Catherine Says:

    It’s beautiful 🙂 The recipe sounds really good, thanks for the link.
    We’ve just had the strawberries so far, but snap peas are just about ready to be picked.

  3. Jane Says:

    We used to over-winter leeks in our last garden. It was great to see something growing in our vegetable beds in winter and the leeks seemed amazingly tolerant of all the Pacific NW weather would throw at them. Our favorite leek dish is potato-leek soup.

    Not eating ANYTHING from the garden yet…wait, does the rosemary I used in lemon/rosemary chicken this week count?
    Anyway, no veggies, yet…but they’re coming!

  4. Megan Says:

    I’ve heard leeks are difficult to grow, so I’m impressed you got one. I eat about two leeks a year, somehow I never have time to cook either, but not for any good reason. But yum, they do end up delicious in whatever I use them in. Some day when I have a good spot for vegetables, I’d like to give them a shot. For now, the best I’ve done is used some homegrown parsley, cilantro, and dill. I just planted one basil plant, I can hardly wait to eat that.

  5. It is beautiful that leek! Prize winning! I hate to admit that I wouldn’t have the first clue what to do with a leek.

    We enjoyed a salad tonight with greens from our garden and arugula from the parents. It was delicious!

  6. Kanak Says:

    Your description–normal grocery-store sized– made me smile! I’ve grown too many things that were never that size!!! No fresh veggies like yours now. I can grow a bit during Nov to March only because rain converts whatever strip of soil I have into mush. But I’ve got my berries (Indian blackberry) and the birds are here!

  7. Kanak Says:

    It’s me again! Forgot to mention that I LOVE the title of your post!:-)

  8. Jen Says:

    I saw Alton Brown make something on the food network last year where he took leeks and sliced them into rings, then breaded and deep fried them like onion rings – they looked so light and scruptious. Enjoy!

  9. Racquel Says:

    That Leek looks great Karen. Actually I picked that single Bell Pepper from my garden & used it in an omlet this morning. Your title was quite clever today, lol. 🙂

  10. Tel Says:

    Hey there, we met at the last SAGBUTT meeting. We’ve had lettuce for two months or so (first batch is past prime and our succession planting wasn’t all that, so not so much now, last for a while was today). Arugula is long gone, Spinach is getting there (bolting now). Looks like we’ll have to cook the first artichoke tomorrow. Five on the plant, we’ll see if more show up. We’ve had peas for a couple days (and many more on the way), strawberries for nearly two weeks (vast quantities, we are getting 1-2 quarts a day just from the 7 surviving plants from last year and their numerous offspring. Shockingly, no bird predation and trivial slug damage). First cherry was yesterday, the second one was today (crow got it, so netting goes up).

  11. Curmudgeon Says:

    After reading this I ran out to see how our over wintered shallots and garlic are doing. I pulled up 3 shallots–still on the small side. Yum! Wing Nut has been itching to try leeks. Maybe this coming fall we’ll plant some.

  12. Matron Says:

    Leeks take an age to mature! Practically a whole year from planting to harvesting. I plant leek seeds in a pot in about March, they are only now about the right size to plant out. They are about the thickness of a knitting needle about now. They will be ready to harvest from about October onwards and will keep all through Winter. You just gave me an idea, maybe i’ll do a post about it.

  13. easygardener Says:

    The risotto recipe looks great – I love onions in any form. As Matron says, Leeks take ages to grow.

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