JUMP TO RECIPE -
Cooked leeks - lovely. You can do them creamy, with lots of Parmesan and perhaps a few mushrooms. Leeks also go quite well with carrots (or so I’m told). They can be cooked whole-ish and served as mock-asparagus - which is so much better than eating asparagus imported from the darkest Peru in the bleak mid-winter.
Leeks are good a filler in all sorts of bakes and casseroles. They can convincingly pretend to be onions for people who are not keen on the largest allium. Soups - can I start gushing about my all-time favourite leek and potato? Pasta plus leeks - any time, any pasta (almost). Tarts, tartelets and flans - and possibly pizza, if I didn’t live with the greatest pizza purist in the world.
But raw? Most people would be seriously distrustful, similarly to a raw onion salad. And so would I – BUT, but what about pickled onions? They are all right, no? Likewise leeks - they need a bit of salting and squeezing admittedly to get rid of some of the sharp tang, but after such treatment and with some milder companions like cucumber - surprisingly lovely. Give it a try.
- 2-4 leeks (about 400g), washed and trimmed to the light green end
- ¼ fresh cucumber
- a handful of radishes
- For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp. buttermilk
- 1 tsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. dill, chopped
- 2 tsp runny honey
- black pepper
Slice the leeks very thinly with a sharp knife or on a mandolin and place them in a bowl. Thinly slice the cucumber and place them in another bowl. Sprinkle the leeks and then the cucumber slices generously with salt, and leave them for 10 minutes.
In the meantime slice the radishes and reserve - don’t salt them. To make the dressing mix all the ingredients except the black pepper in a cup.
Squeeze the moisture from the leeks handful by handful, do the same with the cucumber slices. Place them both in a clean serving bowl, add the radishes and pour over the dressing. Toss the vegetables well in the dressing and serve.