Cabbage – Green
Apples – Braeburn
Apples – Regal Gala
Pears – Bosc
Squash – Supermarket
Potatoes – Agria
Spotlight on Leeks
As we have already done a post on the health benefits of Leeks ( Fresh in Store 9/4/21 – Kerikeri Organic) this is just a fun fact post about them
Leeks are root vegetables that look quite similar to onions, to which they are related.
The plant is characterized by broad, flat, tightly wrapped, dark green leaves, a long, thick white stalk, and a slightly bulbous root.
It has a mild, sweet, onion like flavor.
Leeks enjoy a long and rich history, one that can trace its heritage back through antiquity.
Thought to be native to Central Asia, they have been cultivated in this region and in Europe for thousands of years.
Leeks were prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans and were especially revered for their beneficial effect upon the throat.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle credited the clear voice of the partridge to a diet of leeks, while the Roman emperor Nero supposedly ate leeks everyday to make his voice stronger.
The Hebrew Bible talks of חציר, identified by commentators as leek, and says it is abundant in Egypt.
Dried specimens from archaeological sites in ancient Egypt, as well as wall carvings and drawings, indicate that the leek was a part of the Egyptian diet from at least the second millennium BC.
Texts also show that it was grown in Mesopotamia from the beginning of the second millennium BC.
The leek was the favorite vegetable of the Emperor Nero, who consumed it in soup or in oil, believing it beneficial to the quality of his voice.
According to one legend, King Cadwaladr of Gwynedd ordered his soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field.
The Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton stated, in contrast, that the tradition was a tribute to Saint David, who ate only leeks when he was fasting.
The name ‘leek’ developed from the Old English word leac.
Leeks are easy to grow from seed and tolerate standing in the field for an extended harvest, which takes place up to 6 months from planting.
In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm. The edible portions of the leek are the white base of the leaves (above the roots and stem base), the light green parts, and to a lesser extent the dark green parts of the leaves.
Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin K. They are a very good source of manganese, vitamin B6, copper, iron, folate and vitamin C. Leeks are also a good source of vitamin A in the form of carotenoids, dietary fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
The health benefits of leek include eye health, preventing cataracts, keeping skin clean and healthy, supporting cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, preventing anemia, and relieving inflammation. Other benefits includes improving bone health, supporting kidney function, managing type 2 diabetes, preventing cancer, aiding weight loss and improving digestion.
Raw leeks can be used in salads, doing especially well when they are the prime ingredient.
The leek is one of the national emblems of Wales, worn along with the daffodil (in Welsh, the daffodil is known as “Peter’s leek”, Cenhinen Bedr) on St. David’s Day.
The vegetable became the national emblem of Wales following an ancient victory by an army of Welshmen who wore leeks as a distinguishing sign.
Classic Cheese and Leek Souffle Recipe
Soufflé is considered a very sophisticated dish, yet soufflé recipes are actually quite easy and simple to prepare. Soufflé recipes can be sweet or savoury and one of my favoirite savory souffle’s is a Cheese and Leek Soufflé. Simply, I like this as it is a classic combination of ingredients, two flavours which really work well together and both strong enough to add depth to the souffle. Always use a strong flavoured cheese for the best flavour.https://20a281a9e53d3fa48c62ac43f3c2de8d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
If you are nervous about making a souffle, you do not need to be. Here are my tips on how to make the perfect, feather light one one every time
10 Tips to Make the Perfect Souffle – Every Time
- 55 grams/4 ounces unsalted butter (plus a little for greasing)
- 1 medium leek (cleaned, white and green chopped into fine matchsticks)
- 55 grams/2 ounces all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 pint milk
- 75 grams/3 ounces Emmenthal cheese (grated)
- 4 large eggs (yolk and white seperated)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Steps to Make It
- Gather the ingredients.
- Heat the oven to 395 F/200
- Gently melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the finely chopped leeks and cook gently until the leeks are soft but not brown.
- Stir in the flour and mustard into the leeks.
- The, add the milk a little at a time, stirring thoroughly to create a thick, glossy sauce. Once the sauce is thickened, season with salt and a little pepper.
- Add the egg yolks and beat well with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
- Finally add the grated cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted.
- In a scrupliously clean bowl beat the egg whites with an electric whisk until stiff and firmly set (this may take about 5 minutes).
- Using a metal dessert spoon, stir 2 tbsp of the egg white into the soufflé base to loosen the mix. Then, carefully fold in remaining egg whites in two parts. Be very gentle and try to retain as much volume as possible. You will need to work quickly but delicately.
- Lightly grease 6 individual ramekin dishes with a little butter. Gently spoon the mixture into the dishes filling to within ½”of the top. Place the ramekins onto a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the souffles are golden and risen.
- Serve immediately with a green salad and crusty bread. Be quick though, the souffle will sink in a few minutes.
Individual souffles can be served as starter dishes, or, as a side dish for meats and fish. The souffle also makes a great vegetarian dish.
What’s happening in the garden
It’s garlic time!
We are busy out in the gardens planting garlic 🙂
- Saturday Market – The Old Packhouse Market Kerikeri (Every Saturday) from 8am ~ fresh orange juice, fresh vege juice blends, smoothies, smoothie ice blocks
- Sunday Market – The Old Packhouse Market Kerikeri (Every Sunday) from 8am ~ fresh orange juice, fresh vege juice blends, smoothies, smoothie ice block