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January Food of the month - Leeks! Who knew?


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January Food of the Month: Leeks

By Liv Scheinbaum (Meals To Heal - http://meals-to-heal.com/blog/)

Leeks are part of the Allium family, which also includes garlic, onion, scallions and chives. This aromatic veggie is low in calories, about 54 calories for 1 cup of raw leeks, but packed with a subtle flavor that makes them perfect to toss into soups and salads, or sauté as a tasty side dish all on its own. Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin K and very good sources of vitamin B6, manganese, copper, iron and folate.

Although they are less researched than garlic and onions, the limited existing research suggests an association with a decreased risk of cancer, particularly cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, due to their sulfer-containing stalks.




Roasted Halibut & Leeks with Citrus-Chive Butter

Makes 2 servings

For the citrus-chive butter

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 clementine or orange
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 pinch sea salt

For the roasted halibut and leeks

  • 4 leeks, about 1 inch in diameter or less
  • 2 portions halibut fillet, about 1/3 pound each
  • Juice from 1 clementine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Make a compound butter by combining the butter, clementine zest, chopped chives, and pinch of salt in a small bowl. Stir the mixture with a spatula until ingredients are evenly distributed. Shape the butter into a quenelle or a log and chill in the fridge until firm, about half an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the leeks: Take off their roots and coarse green tops. Slice the leeks almost in two with a lengthwise cut from the top end to within two inches of the root base. Submerge the leeks in water and agitate them to remove any dirt. Simmer the leeks in a separate (large) pot of water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the leeks and finish the lengthwise cut to divide the leeks into two halves.
  3. Butter two gratin dishes or one larger casserole dish and place the leeks on the bottom. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the melted butter. Season the leeks with a couple pinches of salt. Place each halibut fillet atop its own bed of leeks. Pour clementine juice over the halibut along with the other tablespoon olive oil. Season the fish with a couple pinches of salt and a bit of freshly ground white pepper.
  4. Roast the fish in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the halibut is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Remove the halibut and leeks from the oven and serve immediately with a slice of citrus-chive butter on top.



World’s Healthiest Foods. WHFoods Recommendations.http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=26. Accessed January 27, 2015.

Nicastro HL, Ross SA and Milner JA. Garlic and onions: Their cancer prevention properties. Cancer Prevention Research. 2015. [Epub ahead of print.]

Xiao HB, Fang J, Yang Lu X, Chen, XJ, Tan C, Liang Sun Z. Protective effects of kaempferol against endothelial damage by an improvement in nitric oxide production and a decrease in asymmetric dimethylarginine level. Eur J Pharmacol. 2009;616(1-3):213-222. 

Food 52. Roasted Halibut & Leeks wit Citrus-Chive Butter.http://food52.com/recipes/15725-roasted-halibut-leeks-with-citrus-chive-butter. Accessed January 27, 2015.


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