I have a love for onions and garlic. You are hard pressed to find very many of my recipes that don't include both. Of course there is also green onions, shallots, and chives that I love as well. Then there is the long lost cousin, the leek. I just recently began using leeks in more recipes. Why have I over looked this poor lovely vegetable? I mean I love all of the other members of it's family. It seriously was bordering on discrimination before I woke up and began to appreciate what leeks had to offer.
Leeks have all of the wonderful aspects of the other members of it's family, without the down side of many. No bitter bite like you can get from it's brother garlic, no crying like you get from it's sisters onion and shallot, and even though I enjoy it's cousin chive, let's face it, he can be a bit boring at times. No, the leek should be a celebrated family member, not a neglected one.
So I vowed to use this lovely ingredient in more of my dishes. I made my BLT (Bacon Leek, and Tomato Quiche, and everyone raved about it, and even though Kevin is not a huge soup lover he enjoyed the Vichyssoise and Creamy Potato and Leek Soup. Now I am trying harder to find recipes that will be enhanced by the leeks mild flavor. I decided, we love mashed potatoes, why not add leek to them. BINGO a winner!! I actually thought about doing a BLT mashed potato dish (which I think would be awesome) but didn't want to be redundant. It is OK though, this dish was a winner letting the leek shine through on it's own!
What have I learned from this? That I need to broaden my horizons and look to use more diverse ingredients in my recipes and that leeks are just as darn tasty as the rest of those other well known ingredients. After all, it Allium in the family. I know, I know, bad joke. But hey, I gave it a shot. I sure hope you give this dish, and the under used leek a try!!
Mashed Potatoes and Leeks
2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
5 tablespoons butter, seperated 2 and 3
Salt and white pepper
1 cup fat free greek yogurt
Peel potatoes and quarter them. Put in a pot of cold water with some salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; saute until just beginning to color, about 15 minutes. Drain the cooked potatoes and return to hot pan. Add leeks, Greek yogurt, and remaining butter. Mash with potato masher. Season, to taste, with salt and white pepper.