Leek is a vegetable that is related to onions and garlic which belongs to the family of Allium, scallions or spring onions and shallots included.

It looks like the spring onions only bigger in diameter. The white part closes to the roots is the most used in cooking, the green part or sheath of leaves being tough is utilized in soups for added flavor.

I like planting leeks in the garden. It is easy to grow from seeds. The garden bed needs to be amended with compost and maybe add a little horticultural sand for good drainage. You have to designate a place for them in the garden because they take long to mature to a marketable size. Besides you can leave them in the garden till you need them which is good for me. I always just pick what I needed for my cooking for the day so it works for me. The leaves of the leeks look good in the garden. The blue-gray leaves lend an ornamental look in the garden.

There is a type of leek they call Japanese leek. It is the bigger version of the scallions or spring onions. The leaves are hollow while the real leek is formed in sheaths like the leaves of amaryllis which incidentally is also related to leeks. You can blanched the leeks by hilling them or pushing the soil around them.

I always use leeks in making “nilaga”, a soup dish made of beef, preferably with bones, potatoes, and leafy green vegetables like bok choy/pechay, cabbage or napa cabbage. I also use “kinchay”/leaf celery in place of the regular celery. It can also be used in the dish we call “pochero” and the famous “bulalo”. These dishes are what you can call a one-course meal and is always served with steamed rice and patis/fish sauce or nampla as a dipping sauce except for “pochero” where the sauce is made of broiled and mashed eggplant with garlic and vinegar.

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