Leek

LeekLeek — The leek , Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.), also sometimes known as Allium porrum, is a vegetable which belongs, along with the onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae family. Two related vegetables, the elephant garlic and kurrat, are also variant subspecies of Allium ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food.

The edible part of the leek plant is sometimes called a plant stem, even though technically it is a bundle of leaf sheaths.

Leek cultivars can be subdivided in several ways, but the most common types are “summer leeks”, intended for harvest in the season when planted, and overwintering leeks, meant to be harvested in the spring of the year following planting. Summer leek types are generally smaller than overwintering types; over wintering types are generally more strongly flavored.

The edible portions of the Leek are the white onion base and light green stalk. The onion-like layers form around a core. The tender core may be eaten, but as the leek ages the core becomes woody and generally unusable. Leeks are an essential ingredient of cock-a-leekie and vichyssoise. They can also be used raw in salads, doing especially well when they are the prime ingredient.

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