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Baby Leeks

February 21, 2013

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My plan to empty and enrich one whole bed ready for May planting meant I had to lift two rows of baby leeks. They’re always a treat especially when griddled as in this recipe from a River Cafe cook book.

Heat a gridddle pan.

Trim and wash the leeks and cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes.

Dry very thoroughly on kitchen paper.

Place the leeks on the hot pan for 2 minutes then carefully lift to grill the other side for 2 minutes.

Drizzle with olive oil plus a squeeze of lemon juice, black pepper and chopped parsley.

A little burst of sunshine on Tuesday had me on the allotment emptying the well-rotted contents of a compost bin over the asparagus bed (yet again). I treat this bed to all manner of care and attention ever hopeful that this will be the year I get a decent crop. There’s nothing to see above ground currently so a quick weeding session with a hand hoe left it looking immaculate and buckets of compost left it looking nourished. I covered the bed with tarpaulin which I’ll leave on till the end of March.

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I also planted five Jerusalem artichokes  to increase my perennial vegetable stocks.  I chose ‘Fuseau’ since it’s not too knobbly to prepare and makes a good gratin or soup and can be grated raw for salads. As members of the sunflower family they grow up to 3m so I planted them next to the rhubarb which will crop before they’ve put on too much height. Fruit bushes make up the rest of that bed and again these should crop before the artichokes shade them in late summer.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2013 2:14 pm

    I love baby leeks. Not so enamoured by Jerusalem artichokes though. Had them once and just wasn’t keen on the flavour. Would like to try them again to see if there is a way of cooking them that means we like them. We roasted them last time. Haven’t really tackled the allotment yet but it’s so cold at the moment that it will have to wait.

    • February 21, 2013 2:21 pm

      Yes there’s plenty of time and the ground is heavy and wet. It was bliss last Tuesday with the sun out and no wind but it’s bitterly cold now. I’ll blog any good recipes for Jerusalem artichokes as soon as I get to the cropping stage.

  2. February 21, 2013 3:55 pm

    Mmm, leeks are one of my favorite vegetables! I tried to overwinter some in the garden but I don’t think they made it through the very cold winter we’ve had here. I won’t have homegrown leeks until summer, but I’ll have to remember this recipe when they’re ready!

  3. February 21, 2013 7:55 pm

    I love Jerusalem artichokes though I’ve never grown them. I do recall a friend having a patch of them that was constantly threatening to take over – they are indeed very tall!

    • February 22, 2013 9:53 am

      I hope I’ve positioned them in the best place. I have also been reminded that the smallest piece will produce many more roots. I shall be vigilant or get sorted with lots of interesting recipes.

  4. February 22, 2013 9:21 am

    Nothing beats a Jerusalem artichoke gratin!

    • February 22, 2013 9:47 am

      Hi James-That will be my first culinary experiment and I’ll report back.

  5. February 25, 2013 4:23 pm

    Jerusalem artichokes also make the most delicious soup, with potatoes and carrots in varying amounts according to how subtle you like the flavour…

    • February 25, 2013 8:06 pm

      I love making soup so the artichokes bode well for late summer soups.

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