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Aren't leeks a winter vegetable? These little spring leeks are definitely not well-known enough…
What's the most amazing: the presence of green leaves that are both tender and crisp? Or the unique concentrated flavor that lends itself to all sorts of preparations?
Simply blanched as a hot or cold first course, in rounds in a light cream soup, rolled up as tapas, or cut into lengths and served with any kind of fish or white meat… I love them!
What a difference!
Spring leeks have everything you could ask for. They have a subtle fresh springtime flavor. Picked before maturity, robed in half-white, half-green, they are generally thinner than winter leeks. Their fibers are thin and unassertive. Their texture is solid yet tender, so they cook quickly. Steamed or microwaved, thinly sliced or julienned, they are ideal for a fast and diet-conscious springtime meal.
Winter leeks have a completely white stalk that is longer and thicker. Their fibers are denser and woodier. They take longer to cook and give off more water.
"What amazes my guests most," says Gilles Demaure, chef of the Royal-Thalasso Barrière in La Baule, and an expert in light cooking for the Barrière group, "is the presence of green leaves that are both tender and crunchy. Then, the spring leek's unique, very concentrated flavor that lends itself to all kinds of uses. Simply blanched as a hot or cold first course, in rings in a light soup, rolled as tapas, or in short lengths with all kinds of fish or white meats... I love it! It's perfectly suited to fresh, light cooking. From light green to palest green, it retains its lovely nuances when cooked and allows me to produce charming and elegant plates. As soon as it shows up on my menu, the questions begin:
'Why leeks? Aren't they a winter vegetable?' These little leeks are definitely not well-known enough!"
Photo : Prince de Bretagne
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