Let’s Talk About Leeks

Goodness moving house is stressful isn’t it!  Not only that but renovating the new house is causing alllll sorts of arguments over silly things like taps or door handles.  Why don’t I know what type of taps I want?  The decision needs to be made YESTERDAY!  It does all seem rather trivial when you hear of people drowning on their way to a better life in Europe.  Anyway, taps and door handles chosen and old house sold (sob).

Trying to cultivate a veggie patch whilst moving is a little stressful too.  I currently have brassicas bursting at the seams, desperate for more room, but nowhere to plant them.  I also have the problem of my leeks.  I have them in two troughs that I used last year for carrots and purple sprouting broccoli, and they are too heavy to move with the soil in, so I have to eat them all now in readiness for moving.

One trough has worked well and flourished, with most turning into big fat juicy leeks, the other is absolutely useless!  You see my lovely rattan/willow surrounded trough, is beseeched by snails and slugs.  They are apparently experts at climbing up willow woven basket sides, death defyingly good at leaping across a small gap and very very hungry for my luscious leeks!  Who’s bright idea was it to buy that planter?! *ahem*  Anyway, this other planter was planted much later in the year – I believe some leeks were being sold off cheaply at a Garden Center so of course I couldn’t pass a bargain – so they are much thinner than in the other leek planter.  And well let’s be honest the first planter they were more baby leeks than whoppers.  But anyway the slugs and snails are now living side by side with my leeks and munching on them at night when they get a bit hungry.  I have illustrated this point by drawing an arrow where said snails and slugs have been hanging out.

Leeks munched

So long story short, it’s been leek on the menu for the past few weeks.  Leek soup, boiled leeks (ik!), leek and chicken pie, leeks with mussles in cider sauce, barbequed leeks with thyme, leek and scallops with spaghetti and chilli and the below recipe for leek and potato galette.

Incidently – did you know leeks are incredibly good for you?  Well of course they are dummy, they’re a vegetable after all!  My research tells me that being part of the allium family, leeks have similar properties to garlic and onions.  They are great for our tickers (heart) and even have anti-inflammatory properties.  So whip up some leeky recipes if you, as my garden snails now do, want to have a healthy blood system………Do snails even have blood?!

Leek and Potato Galette – by Martha Stewart <—- if you want the recipe and instructions.

leek and potato galette 1

leek and potato galette 2

Now I have to admit I improvised with the recipe.  I didn’t have any Gruyere cheese and I was going to put in some cheddar……………but I forgot.  But honestly it was so buttery and potatoey and leeky that it really didn’t need the cheese, although I suspect it would make it more awesome.  I served mine with hipster loving ham hock (which thanks to hipsters is as rare as hens teeth to get hold of) and peas (not my own) and pac choy (needed eating up).  It was scrumptious and I suspect I will be making this again in the Autumn/Winter time as it was so comforting and filling.

Ham hock and leek and potato galette

I’ve never really been a fan of leeks until I grew my own.  I think it was because I was brought up on boiled leek, which just like boiled broccoli and cauliflower is quite frankly disgusting.  However through growing them myself, as with the broccoli and cauliflower, I have grown to love this versatile, health giving little veg.  What is particularly nice, and a nod to my blog name, is that during WWII leeks were a God send.  There was a shortage of onion seed to grow, so leeks were grown instead and used to add flavour to food – and now I can see why!  They are relatively simple to look after, live through a british winter and taste fantastic fresh from the ground!

So why not have a go at growing some leeks, you’ll thank me when you try the above recipe!  Until next time, Happy Gardening!

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