The (poorly kept!) secret is out. The once humble leek is now the star in some of our favorite dishes. Like Brussels sprouts and kale and cauliflower before them, leeks are poised for some much-deserved recognition. Whether you’re simmering them in a broth to sip while cozying up on a couch for an evening of Netflix or preparing them as part of a dinner party spread, leeks hold unlimited potential.
Milder and softer than their onion cousins, leeks have long been popular with European cooks. They are often included in the classic French mirepoix—at the heart of so many French dishes—and gallic cooks have dedicated many a dish to their certain je ne sais quoi. Here are some of our favorite recipes with what is bound to be the surprise veggie sweetheart of the season. (And, be sure to bookmark these for spring, when leeks are fresh and in-season.)
Potato and Leek Soup features a classic combo bumped up with the addition of celery root for a full-flavored purée. Serve it cold, like its cousin the traditional French Vichysoisse, or warm for a cozy supper.
Leeks turn delicate and tender in a slow cooker, which is the perfect way to cook them as part of these Braised Leeks with Proscuitto and Poached Eggs. Baked slices of paper-thin prosciutto add a crispy, salty finish.
This Leek and Herb Egg Bake is chic and sophisticated on a brunch menu and surprisingly easy to make. Pair it with sourdough toast and a butter lettuce salad tossed in a light vinaigrette to round out the meal.
Sauteed leeks form a delicate bed for a light meal in this simple dish. The recipe can easily be increased to serve additional guests, making this a great choice for an easy dinner party with a minimum of prep.
Leeks sauteed with garlic, a trio of herbs and a splash of wine forms the base for this classic recipe of Scalloped Potatoes with Leeks and Herbs. A generous spoonful of crème Fraîche makes a rich and comforting addition.