When certain vegetables come into season I like to make sure that I get the absolute most from the short time that they are at their best.
Of all the months, I think February may be my favourite because two vegetables that I love arrive in plentiful supply. You will probably see Savoy Cabbage and Leeks featuring on lots of menus at this time of year.
In recent times, the might Leek has definitely become a firm favourite of mine. This versatile relative of the onion has more often been used as an ingredient for soups, which isn't a bad thing, I just think that the leek deserves more chance to be at the dinner table.
As I write this post I am already thinking about the Chicken & Leek Pie that I am planning on preparing for later in the week. (keep an eye out for the recipe and be sure to give it a try)
Try making a leek risotto using half the chopped leek in the early part of the cooking process, adding the rest halfway through. This will create a well flavoured risotto with a little bite.
You could try adding some chopped and boiled leeks to mashed potato with a knob of butter and plenty of ground black pepper.
Looking for some comfort food, wrap parboiled whole leek stalks in Serrano ham then cover with white sauce and breadcrumbs before baking in the oven. Serve this with some crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine. Delicious
The leek is also packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins, which can help stave off winter colds so when a recipe mentions onions or shallots, try replacing with a leek instead - the leek has a more robust flavour and adds a little 'je ne sais quoi'.