Leeks are long stalks of leaves that gently taper into a stem. They have a slightly sweet, garlic and onion flavour that subtly adds depth to any dish. Leeks are typically ready for harvest in Ontario in late Summer and into the winter.
Due to the way leeks grow they need to be washed thoroughly as the shape they grow into traps dirt in the white bulb part of the stem. Leeks are excellent for use in soups and are an excellent complement to potatoes. They can also be cooked, roasted, and sauteed whole as vegetables.
Leeks are the domesticated version of wild leeks, which are also found in Ontario, especially in the Muskoka area. Leeks are closely related to onions, garlic, scallions, and chives and share the same subtle flavour. Leeks are a cold weather vegetable that can be harvested as needed throughout the winter. Leeks originated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, but are widely used in European and North American cuisines.