Does anyone have any good uses for the leftover, dark green leaves from leeks? I hate pitching them, yet I've heard they're tough to eat when cooked.
Crickkette from USA
I am wondering if you can cut the long leaves into strings and tie up small asparagus bunches 'round the middle or tamales. Well, this isn't a use for more than a few leaves, but it's an idea.
Add them to your stockpot. you strain it at the end anyway, so it dosn,t matter if the leaves are tough, It all adds to the flavour. Jan UK
I chop the dark green leaves and pop them into a freezer bag. Then, when I make soup, I boil a handful with the bones to make the stock. Strain these out when you take out the bones, then proceed as usual.
They're fantastic too to add flavour when boiling chicken for salad or for making soup, chicken and dumplings, etc.
Julienne (long thin strips) and deep fry them, either dipped in a tempura like batter, like onion rings, or plain, like french fries. If you get them crispy they snap just like potato chips. Then you can crumble them and use them as a topping on soups and salads, like bacon bits. Tastes great!
Like you, I hate wasting anything, especially food. Could you put them in a blender with a little chicken broth and puree them, then make the puree into a cream soup? I bet you could freeze the puree into cubes and add them to other sauces, gravies, soups, spaghetti sauce, casseroles and the like. Last summer, when I picked the basil and parsley from my garden and stripped the leaves from the stems to dehydrate, I also dehydrated the stems separately. Once dry, I powdered them in my blender. I store them in a glass jar and add the powder to my home-cooked dishes. The powder has all the flavor of the original herb. I bet you could do this to the leek tops too. I'm sure you'll find lots of ways to use them once powdered.
If you like grilled vegetables, wash the leek leaves then cut into thin strips across the grain and add to your assorted vegetables before adding olive oil and grilling them over a hot grill, charcoal or gas. They add a lovely flavor and texture.