This salad always reminds me of Spring and Easter time. I like crunchiness and freshness of leeks, mixed with sweetness of sweetcorn, they give each other nice balance. Quite sharp onion-like taste of leeks also goes great with a bit dull taste of hard boiled eggs. All this gives very nice balance of flavours and variety of textures.
I decided to spice up my salad with some smoked mackerel which I really like, but if you’re not a fan or you don’t want the fishy odour afterwards just skip the fish and stay with basic ingredients.
Which part of leek we use?
For salads are best young and smaller leeks, I also chose organic option. You’ll need white base of the leaves and the light green parts, dark green parts are better for cooking. To make them slightly softer, it’s good to sprinkle them with a little bit of salt after slicing and leaving for about an hour. Salad is extremely easy to make, and will look great on your Easter table packed in a small serving size bowls, garnished with some greens and pieces of smoked mackerel if you decide to add it.
How to choose leeks for salad?
Always choose fresh, preferably organic leek, as they are rich in flavour and nutrition. Look for uniform, long, firm, white stalks with healthy root bulbs as it indicates fresh farm produce. And avoid stems with withered, yellow discolour tops. To keep them fresh, store leeks wrapped in a paper towel and place in the fridge. They should stay fresh for up to a week.
Leek contains many minerals, vitamins and unique flavonoid antioxidants. These compounds convert to allicin by the enzymatic reaction when the leek stalk is sliced or chopped. Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol formation, reduces blood vessel stiffness, blocks platelet clot formation and has clot-breaking properties. 100g fresh leek stalks also provide 64µg of folates. Additionally, leeks are one of the good sources of vitamin-A and other flavonoid phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein, which are beneficial for your eyes.
Leeks are very cheap and easy to grow veggies, but very underestimated, although in Scotland very popular. They add a lot of flavour to all the cooked meals like soups and stews, but they can also be a great base for salads.
If you haven’t try this kind of salad before, definitely give it a try this Spring. It is said that the Buddhist monks of the Mahayana school do not eat leeks because they are believed to “stimulate the senses”. So if you’d like to “stimulate your senses” you should definitely stock up on young leeks 🙂
leek, egg, sweetcorn & smoked mackerel salad
- 3 small organic leeks
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- couple spoons of tinned sweetcorn
- 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
- good pinch of freshly ground pepper
- pinch of natural rock salt
- piece of smoked mackerel
Trim the ends of leeks (we need white base of the leaves and the light green parts), cut them in half (lengthwise) and wash thoroughly under running water. Slice them thinly, place in a container, sprinkle with a bit of salt and give it a stir. Put to fridge for about an hour to become softer.
Peel the eggs, and chop them. Drain sweetcorn from the brine. Add both to leek, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and combine with mayonnaise.
You can leave it in the fridge for another hour or eat immediately. Place some salad in a small serving bowl, place couple pieces of mackerel on top, add couple sweetcorn grains for some colour and something green (little basil leaves in my case) for garnish. Small bowls will look really pretty on Easter table.
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