Harvesting season starts for leeks somewhere around September. I feel like leeks are often a bit underestimate as a veg. Most of it is used as an addition to the soups and stews, not really often served fresh and raw. Maybe it’s because its onion-like taste and a bit hard texture. But in my opinion if you slice it thinly and let it sit with spices and other ingredients to soften a bit, it’s a great veg for all sorts of salads and side dishes.
If you buy a quite young leek, not overgrown – about an inch (2.5cm) in diameter, smooth and bright green in colour, you’ll get a crunchy, slightly sweet and earthy vegetable. Younger the leek – milder the taste. Dark green leaves on the top are more fibrous and hard, so you can easily add them to soups and stews, but brighter green and white parts will be great eaten raw.
Leeks are a great source of vitamins A, K and C, as well as folate and fiber. Leeks are well-known for their natural treatment of infections, because of their soothing action and antiseptic effect on different body systems. They contain fiber called inulin, that was tested for its ability to protect DNA from damage that causes mutations. Mutations from damaged DNA are often considered to be the reason many cancers form. The type of fibre that leeks contain are great probiotics – they help healthy bacteria to grow in your gut.
And this easy and quick leek salad is a great option for a light meal, you can pack it and take for a lunch to work, or it can become an easy and inexpensive party salad.
It’s one of my go-to easy salads, and I come back to this recipe every now and then or when I have a spare young leek in the fridge. Easy to get ingredients that you’ll probably also have in your fridge and pantry. In my case apart from sweetcorn as I rarely use it, but it adds a lot of sweetness to this salad, breaking slightly sharp flavour of the leek. A bit bland hard boiled eggs also goes great with sharp and crisp flavour of the leek. And if you love cheese you can add a bit of mature cheddar chopped in small cubes. All of that combined together with a mix of mayonnaise and splash of mustard and salad is ready.
It taste the best if you give it an hour or two in the fridge – when leeks will soften slightly and all the flavours will go through. Autumnal comfort food for salad lovers.
- couple small young leeks
- 198g (1 small can) sweetcorn
- 1-2 hard boiled eggs
- small piece of hard cheese like mature cheddar
- 1-2 tsp of your favourite mustard
- good pinch of lemon pepper
- pinch of natural rock salt or sea salt if needed
Thoroughly wash the leeks. Chop off the dark green part, keep it for something else. Cut your leeks lengthwise and then in thin slices.
Chop hard boiled eggs and hard cheese into small cubes and add to leek.
Drain sweetcorn from the water and also add to the rest of ingredients.
Sprinkle with good pinch of lemon pepper, add a teaspoon or two of mustard (depending on how spicy is a mustard of your choice), then add ad much mayo as you like. If you feel like it need some salt add a small pinch and thoroughly stir couple times. Everything depends of the saltiness of mayo and hard cheese you chose. Usually I don’t add any salt.
Leave it in the fridge for about an hour in an air tight container. Then serve.