Maggie Beer

Leeks 71

June 13

Leeks 71

Leeks are a vegetable I always give space to in my kitchen garden, as tender young leeks are so different from the fat, over-mature specimens shops often offer. Young leeks add an extra dimension to slow-cooked winter foods and there is nothing like their buttery fragrance, filling the kitchen with warmth when the weather is at its coldest outside. Although pencil leeks are now more widely available in major city markets, at the wrong time of year they can still be woody in their centre so I have always opted to grow my own for the assurance of picking them at their very best. Home gardening can change opinions of previously passed over vegetables in an instant, and never more so than with the comparison of a tough old leek past its prime, to the sweetest, melt-in-your-mouth leek just picked from your garden. -MB

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