Roasted leeks is a delicious and easy way to enjoy the flavors and benefits of leeks. These go well with several dishes and are flavorsome. With the mild onion-like taste, golden brown charr, and simple seasonings, roasted leeks are a perfect addition to your dinner table. Also, see Potato Leek Carrot Soup.
What Are Leeks?
Leeks look like a giant spring onion and taste a lot like an onion. So, with this similarity, we can say that leeks belong to the onion family. Leeks are also grown underground.
The main difference between leeks and onions is that where the bulbs on onions are round, the leeks have a straight and thinner bulb. The top of the leeks is dark green, whereas the bottom is almost white to light green.
Unlike how you can eat onions raw, leeks are not so pleasant when eaten raw. Therefore, you have to cook them. Once cooked, they have a mild onion-like flavor.
Health Benefits of Leeks
Leeks have many health benefits. Here are a few you should know about:
- Leeks are low in calories. Therefore, they are a perfect ingredient for those who like to keep track of the calories. Thus, it also aids in weight loss.
- They are rich in antioxidants, especially kaempferol. This compound is known for protecting the body against diseases like cancer and heart-related diseases.
- Leeks are known to reduce inflammation in the body. Therefore, they promote heart health and protect the heart against stroke, etc. Furthermore, it also helps in lowering cholesterol in the body, blood pressure, and the formation of blood clots.
- Leeks are rich in soluble fiber and probiotics. As a result, it improves digestive health.
- It also helps in fighting against several infections caused by viruses, bacteria, and yeast.
- It also protects mental health by reducing the chances of mental diseases and decline.
What To Look For When Buying Leeks?
Because vegetables tend to get worse as they get old, it is crucial you know what to look for when buying a vegetable so that you can enjoy the freshness and flavor. Here is what to keep in mind when buying leeks from a grocery store or farmers’ market.
- Color: Sine leeks are naturally white and green in color; make sure you avoid the ones that have a yellow or brown tint. That’s because it is a sign that the leeks are rotten or bad. Similarly, choose the ones that have more white and light green colors on them. They are the fresh ones.
- Texture: Fresh leeks have a firm texture. They are crunchy. You can hold them in your hands and press your thumb against the vegetable. If they feel mushy or soft, don’t buy them.
- Diameter: Look for smaller leeks since they are sweeter. Moreover, thicker leeks have more fiber in them, so choose the ones that are about an inch in diameter.
How To Cut Leeks?
Leeks may seem like large spring onions, but they are a different thing. There are several ways to cut leeks. You can slice them, dice them, or cut them in half. For this recipe, we are going to focus on cutting them in half. Here is how you can cut the leeks:
- Start by removing the root part. Discard it.
- Next, you have to cut the green part. Don’t throw it. You can add it to the vegetable broth to get maximum flavor out of it.
- As for the white part is concerned, you simply have to cut it lengthwise. Start with a sharp knife from the top all the way to the bottom.
- Next, wash it under running water to get rid of the dirt. That’s all!
Roasted Leeks Recipe
Making leeks is quite a simple process. You don’t need an elaborate number of ingredients. It is naturally flavorsome, and therefore you need simple ingredients to enhance that. Here is everything you need to make roasted leeks:
- Leeks: the main hero of the dish are the leeks. Make sure you buy fresh leeks from the grocery store. Don’t forget to trim them and wash them thoroughly to get rid of the dirt.
- Seasonings: salt and pepper are enough to bring out the natural flavor of the leeks.
- Olive oil: olive oil is perfect for cooking the leeks so that they get a nice color on them.
- Nutritional yeast: nutritional yeast is a fantastic ingredient. It is perfect for bringing out the natural flavors of the ingredient.
How To Roast Leeks?
Making roasted leeks is a reasonably straightforward process. Here are a few easy steps you have to follow:
Step 1: You start by trimming the leeks and cutting them in half lengthwise.
Step 2: Next, take some time to wash them so that all the dirt and debris are removed. Because leeks are grown in the ground, be prepared for a lot of dirt.
Step 3: Once the leeks are dirt-free and clean, pat them dry using a kitchen towel. Drying the leeks is crucial.
Step 4: Now it’s time for marinade. Place the leeks in a large bowl, add olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix well using your hands so that the leeks are covered with the olive and the rest f the ingredients.
Step 5: Place the leeks on a parchment-lined baking tray and place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 400-degree F for 20 minutes.
Step 6: After 20 minutes, take the baking tray out of the oven and sprinkle vegan parmesan on the leeks. Place the tray back in the oven for ten more minutes until the edges of the leeks and the vegan cheese get a nice golden-brown color.
Step 7: Serve
How To Store Leeks?
Storing roasted leeks is a pretty easy thing. All you have to do is place the leftover leeks in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. They will stay good to go for up to 3 days. When eating, reheat them in the oven for 5 minutes until they turn crispy again.
Variations For Cooking Leeks
Here are a few ways you can add more flavors to roasted leeks and enjoy them:
- Garlic powder: garlic powder adds a robust, savory, and garlicky flavor to the leeks.
- Garlic salt: You can add garlic salt to the leeks as well.
- Italian seasoning: Italian seasonings include dried herbs like thyme, basil, rosemary, and oregano. These herbs have a distinct flavor and aroma. Adding these to the leeks brings in a new flavor dimension to the final product.
- Jerk seasoning: Jerk seasoning is actually a Jamaican spice mix. It is a blend of several spices and herbs. It has a deep and rich flavor and is a perfect spice mix to bring out flavors in any dish. Use it on the roasted leeks. I am sure you will love it!
- Paprika: nothing can beat the flavor of smoked paprika or cayenne. It adds heat to the leeks.
- Vinaigrette: once the leks are one, add a vinaigrette to it. You can prepare it by adding lemon juice, rice vinegar, or a little bit of white wine vinegar. Whatever you choose, a vinaigrette brings freshness to the leeks.
What To Serve With Roasted Leeks?
Roasted leeks are the perfect side dish to several main courses. These are often a choice when you want something different from bell peppers and carrots. Here is what you can serve leeks with:
- Cauliflower rice: Serve leeks alongside cauliflower rice and enjoy the deliciousness of the vegetables.
- Thai curry: Spicy green and red coconut Thai curries go amazingly well with rice and roasted leeks on the side.
- Bean curry: How about completing the meal with bean curry and leeks?
- Chili: Try roasted leeks with delicious bean chili.
- Quinoa: Salad, quinoa, and roasted leeks work so well together.
Other Roasted Vegetable Recipes
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- Energy: 114 kcal / 477 kJ
- Fat: 7 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Carbs: 13 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 30 min
- Ready in: 40 min
- For: 4 Servings
- Trim leeks, discard the roots and cut them into half lengthwise. Wash them thoroughly to get rid of the dirt. Pat the leeks dry using a kitchen towel.
- Place the leeks in a bowl, add olive oil, salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast. Mix well to coat the leeks on all sides.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place leeks on it. Place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 400℉ for 30 minutes.
- Take the baking tray out of the oven and sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese.
- Place the leeks back in the oven and roast for 10 more minutes. Once the edges turn golden brown, remove from the oven and serve.