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Loveliness of the Leek

Leeks add a lusciously earthy onion flavor to dishes as diners anticipate the delicious heat sensation that builds in the back of their throats. Consumed since ancient times, it’s intriguing to imagine how people in long-ago Egypt and then Rome feasted with leeks. Here are three eye-catching ways to plate them today.

At the Bar: Tempura Leeks

This is our take on a plant based “calamari” presentation, one that’s wonderfully appropriate for any bar snack setting.

Fine Dining: Leek Pâte à Choux

To make this attractive leek dish, we cook a panade with a ton of leeks. Then, instead of cheese or pastry cream, the puffs are filled with a creamed leek top bechamel and served with whenever we want in the meal. I like this concept because it uses the whole plant. You can find our creamed leek top recipe in the James Beard Foundation book on waste.

Country Club Dining: Creamed Leeks

This old school technique is often overlooked. It’s one where leeks are cooked low and slow—gentle cooking. We chose to highlight this ingredient in a banquet application because leeks don’t overcook. They’re versatile, also being cost effective and scalable. Plus, this dish stays hot.

More About Leeks

At The Chef’s Garden, you can find flavorful, regeneratively farmed fresh leeks: chewy, fleshy leeks with firm white shanks. They add lovely leek flavor in whatever applications you use.

We hope you enjoyed this installment of plating food techniques!

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