Neither hot nor sweet, neither onion nor garlic, but leeks. In August, it is both harvested and sown, and skilled gardeners have it in their gardens all year round. Sown in February and transplanted in March and April, leeks are harvested from June to the end of August. When it is sown from April to mid-May, it is sown at the end of May and in June, and it is harvested from September to November. Sowing for winter consumption is in May and June, planting from July to the beginning of September, and for use it matures during the winter and early spring.
Let’s remember. It is a biennial plant from the onion family, but unlike most species from this family, it does not form a bulb, so the false stem and part of the green leaves are used in the diet. In the crop rotation, it comes first because it reacts very favorably to fertilization with manure, but only after four years can it be planted in the place where other onions are grown. For the successful cultivation of leeks, you need fertile, structural soil, with favorable physical and chemical properties, and a neutral pH reaction.
An excellent “cleanser” of the organism
Unfairly accused as an “anti-urban” vegetable, leeks are, according to nutritionists, a real treasure that should be on the table as often as possible. It is an excellent “fighter” against fats and blood sugar, high blood pressure, and thanks to its fiber, it normalizes digestion. The specific combination of ingredients of high nutritional value make this vegetable a very important part of a well-balanced diet.
One of the most important values of this vegetable is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Vitamins C and B6, folic acid, iron and manganese, which are abundant in these vegetables, are the most responsible for this. These substances do not slow down the absorption of sugar from the digestive organs, so they influence the normalization of their metabolism, and thus control its level in the blood. The results of several studies show that regular intake of leeks, especially as a fresh vegetable, raises the level of so-called good cholesterol, while simply “expelling” bad fats from the blood.
For people who suffer from hypertension and often have leeks on the table, doctors sometimes have to adjust the prescribed therapy because the ingredients of that vegetable “lower” blood pressure. It is also excellent for overall health improvement. It is a good source of fiber, thus activating dormant digestion, and its calcium strengthens bones. It can also act as a mild antiseptic and thus help the body fight infections.
Although a person can benefit a lot from this vegetable, experts warn that people with kidney and gallbladder diseases should avoid it and, with the permission of the doctor, use it carefully in the preparation of salads and dishes. This is caused by substances known as oxalates, which, when ingested in large quantities, crystallize and can cause problems that often affect such “patients”, and there is a danger that they can block the absorption of calcium.
Well-proven recipes with leeks
Since all the leeks sown in the spring have not yet been taken out and consumed, it would be good to prepare dishes with them more often, for which our housewives have many proven recipes. What they all have in common is that they are quick and easy to prepare, that the dishes are tasty and nutritious. We suggest that you surprise your housemates and prepare at least one of them.
Moussaka with leeks
For a family of four, you need 500 g of minced meat, one kilogram of leek, one onion, two bay leaves, a little parsley, salt and pepper to taste, a few spoons of sunflower oil, 200 ml of sour cream, a few spoons of pureed tomatoes and some grated of cheese.
Finely chop the onion and sauté it. In the meantime, wash and clean the leek and cut it into rings. Pour water into a large container and add salt. When it boils, add the leek and let it cook for about five minutes. When it is cooked, strain it. Add pureed tomatoes to the stewed onion and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the meat and let the sauce simmer for another fifteen minutes, then add the parsley and bay leaf to the dish.
Arrange a layer of leeks in an ovenproof dish, then a layer of sauce and repeat the process until you have used up all the ingredients. Apply the cream and spread it evenly. Finally, grate the cheese and leave it for about 20 minutes to bake in the oven at 200°C.
Leeks with eggs
If anything is quick and easy, and represents a full and complete meal, then it is this dish. For three people, you need one kilogram of leeks, a few spoons of oil, a little mixture of dry spices, salt to taste and five eggs.
Put leeks cut into rings in a deep pan, spray with oil and fry until soft. If necessary, add a little water, salt and dry spices. Pour the eggs evenly over the leeks, cover, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for another ten minutes.
Fried leeks with eggs and cheese
For one person, it is prepared from one leek loin, two eggs, 200 g of cheese, salt and pepper to taste and oil for frying.
Clean the leek well and cut it into cubes. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the leeks to fry. Fry until soft. Then the previously grated cheese is added, and everything is fried together, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon.
Beat the eggs separately as for an omelet, then when the leeks and cheese are ready, when they start to come off the pan, add them too, turn off the stove and let everything fry together a little longer.
Fried leeks with dried peppers
This dish is very easy to prepare and tasty, it is most often prepared in the winter when all the ingredients are available, and it is very suitable for breakfast. You need four to five leeks, five to six dried peppers, two to three eggs, a little oil or fat, and salt and pepper to taste.
First, scald the peppers with hot water and leave them to stand and soften. During this time, clean and wash the leeks, chop them into rings and put them in the dish in which the dish will be prepared and in which the fat has already been heated.
Drain the pepper and cut it as small as possible so that it is better roasted and softened, then add it to the leek. Fry for ten minutes, then pour in half a glass of water and cover, reduce the temperature and continue stewing for twenty minutes to half an hour.
Then the container is uncovered and the temperature is increased to evaporate the water, salt and pepper. When the water evaporates, the ingredients are fried, then add the eggs and simmer for a few more minutes. Those who like can grate cheese on top or serve the dish with sour milk, cream…
Leeks with chicken and mushrooms
For four people, you need to prepare one kilogram of chicken white meat, a pack of mushrooms, two leeks, butter, sweet cream, dry spices and pepper.
Cut the chicken into cubes and fry in butter. When the meat is fried, take it out on a plate and in the same bowl, in the same butter, sauté the sliced mushrooms and leeks. When the mushrooms are soft, return the already fried chicken and pour in the sweet cream. Let it simmer for five to six minutes and the dish is ready. It is served warm.
Pie with leeks
It is prepared easily and quickly, it is a pleasant serving for unexpected guests or a light dinner. For six people, you need one and a half cups of yogurt, half a cup of cheese, two cups of flour, a pinch of baking powder, two tablespoons of dry spices, four eggs, two leeks.
All the ingredients are mixed, the leek is cut into rings, it is not fried, the mixture is poured into an oiled pan and placed in an oven heated to 200 degrees and baked for 40 minutes. It is served warm, with yogurt.
Omelet with mushrooms and leeks
There are many types of omelettes, with combinations of various vegetables and spices, here is another fantastic combination with mushrooms and leeks. Breakfast for a family of four is prepared from 20 g of leeks, 30 g of oil, 50 g of mushrooms, eight eggs, and salt to taste.
Cut the leek into rings and fry briefly in oil. Wash, clean and cut the mushrooms into leaves, then add them to the leek, salt and fry. Beat eight eggs separately, add salt and pour into the pan with the mushrooms. Take it off the heat for a while and mix everything well. Return and bake the omelette on both sides, roll up and serve warm with yogurt.
Source: Agromedia by www.agromedia.rs.
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