The Leek Recipes We Love

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The Leek Recipes We Love

It’s time to celebrate one of the world’s most overlooked alliums: leeks. While scallions, garlic and chives get all the press, this humble onion-like vegetable sits on the sidelines, waiting for its moment to shine. But the tides are shifting; leeks are coming into their own as more and more home cooks realize just how delicious they can be. Whether you eat them raw as a crunchy topping to an herby salad or you cook them until they’re brown, sweet and caramelized, you can’t go wrong with this relatively inexpensive and accessible veggie.

Let’s take a look at some of the internet’s best leek recipes so you can try out this unfairly overlooked vegetable for yourself.

1. Upside-Down Caramelized Leek Tart from Bon Appétit

Looking for an elegant leek recipe you’ll be proud to serve at any dinner party? This gorgeous upside-down caramelized leek tart from Bon Appétit is sure to blow your guests’ minds. Caramelizing the leeks makes them super sweet and tender, and the crispy crust provides the perfect textural contrast. Since you’re working with store-bought puff pastry, it’s easier than you think to whip this recipe up on the fly.

2. Zeytinyagli Pirasa from In the Kitchen with April

Zeytinyagli pirasa is a Turkish recipe that includes carrots, rice and—you guessed it—leeks. You’ll douse the veggie mixture in a generous glug of olive oil along with some lemon to keep the dish tasting bright and fresh even after you simmer it. This dish is traditionally served during the cold winter months when a bowl of warm veggies is just what you need to feel your best. Try this recipe from In the Kitchen with April.

3. Caramelized Leek Pasta from Bakerita

There’s perhaps no greater pairing than leeks and pasta, and this recipe from Bakerita is proof. The leeks aren’t super substantial in this recipe because they cook down nicely, forming an ultra-flavorful sauce that transforms ordinary noodles into a life-changing pantry pasta situation. If you haven’t been too keen on leeks in the past, this low-key recipe may be the best way to re-introduce them into your diet.

4. Leek Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing from Veggie Desserts

Leeks and white beans are a match made in heaven, which is why I absolutely adore this recipe from Veggie Desserts. The spinach, beans and leeks themselves may constitute a simple combo, but when they’re dressed with creamy honey mustard, they’re transformed into an unforgettable side dish. Crunchy pumpkin seeds and crumbly feta add an extra layer of excitement to this veggie-forward dish.

5. Leeks Mirisata from Sri Lankan Tasty Recipes

Ask for a leek dish in Sri Lanka, and you may just come across leeks mirisata, or fried leeks with chili. If you’ve never had fried leeks before, you absolutely have to try this recipe from Sri Lankan Tasty Recipes. The chili powder in this recipe gives these leeks a punch, which is even better if you choose to eat them with rice.

6. Braised Leeks with Parmesan from NYT Cooking

Braising leeks brings out their flavor and sweetness, but adding stock and wine to the pan per this NYT Cooking recipe will give you even more intensity of flavor. The outsides of the leeks will get nice and crispy, offering a slight crunch, while the insides will be moist and tender. Remember to use plenty of olive oil, and definitely don’t skimp on the Parmesan—a dose of dairy is just what this veggie-forward dish needs.

7. Leek and Gruyere Grilled Cheese from Bowl of Delicious

Who said you have to stick to your plain old American Kraft singles grilled cheese recipe? If you want to take things up a notch, you have to give this leek and Gruyere grilled cheese recipe from Bowl of Delicious a try. I don’t want to be dramatic, but this recipe may have changed my life. The leeks are exactly what you need to break up the monotony of a standard grilled cheese. Plus, it’s hard to beat the deliciousness that Gruyere offers.

8. Potato Leek Soup from Once Upon a Chef

Potato leek soup is an absolute classic, so you can find recipes for it anywhere, but I personally love this recipe from Once Upon a Chef. It’s super simple and calls for little more than leeks, potatoes, heavy cream and some broth. This soup is hearty, filling and perfect for those cold winter (or early spring) days when you want something that feels healthy and refreshing without leaving you hungry.

9. Leek and Potato Galette with Pistachio Crust from Epicurious

I’m a big galette girl, so when I saw this Epicurious recipe for a leek and potato galette with a pistachio crust, I knew I had to try it for myself. If you haven’t made a galette before, you should give it a try—I find it much easier than making a pie. The leeks are cooked to perfection in this recipe, and the potatoes add some much-needed bulk. The best part? The crunchy pistachio crust. It’s an unexpected addition to an otherwise texturally soft dish.

10. Leek Slaw from Cuisine Fiend

Trying to figure out what to do with raw leeks? This leek slaw from Cuisine Fiend may be just what you’re looking for. Thinly sliced leeks are combined with radishes and cucumbers for a supremely crunchy salad. Finish it all off with a super-light mayo dressing, and you’ll have your veggie fix figured out for the day.

Samantha Maxwell is a food writer and editor based in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @samseating.