Cooking Leek Greens
Milder than onion, easy, and surprisingly delicious!
I, admittedly, only recently found out how absolutely surprisingly delicious leek greens are (those dark green tops of leeks); and how easy to cook! Leek greens seemed fibrous to me and so I defaulted to using them for stock (or compost). I knew, just from color alone, that I was discarding beneficial nutrients (and money!). I made leek soup this past weekend and saved the green tops for testing. I was amazed that something so simple and tasty had eluded me for this long. Sorry compost bins – these greens are for us now!
Leek greens are much milder when sautéed than onion but cook just as fast. The variations for the simple glaze below are limitless. I tested this recipe, as well as, a version using almond oil, coconut milk, and curry that will be wonderful with chickpeas and fresh cubed pineapple.
Other vegetables could easily be added to this while sautéing. Mushrooms and artichokes would make a wonderful topping for tofu or tempeh. Sautéed leek greens would serve well with any lighter protein like tofu, seafood, or fish.
I also read a tip on Foundation – Louis Bonduelle’s site to use leek greens (like banana leaves) to bake or grill fish in a pouch. So have fun!
Leek greens are leafy & tender veggies on your balanced plate.
Research on the nutrients in leek greens is limited. The above diagram uses information compiled from the USDA nutrient database and World’s Healthiest Foods.
- about 8 cups sliced leek greens (amount from 2 medium stalks)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (reduced-sodium variety can be used)
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons Mirin or rice wine vinegar (optional)
- 1 tablespoon kudzu (to thicken sauce) mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- Slice leek greens in half, fan the leaves and thinly slice. Clean by soaking in a large bowl of cold water and letting the sand settle to the bottom. Repeat until the water is clear.
- While soaking, ‘unlayer’ larger pieces so that you have more uniform single layers of leaves for even cooking.
- Heat oil and ghee in wok or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek greens and sauté until tender (about 8 minutes, they will reduce in volume by about 1/3; can cook longer to lightly caramelize).
- Add soy sauce, broth, Mirin, and kudzu water mixture to form light glaze. Stir well.
- Remove from heat. Glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Dinner, Side Dish
- Diet: Vegetarian
- Serving Size: 1 cup
Keywords: cooking with leek greens, cooked leek tops