These puppies grow from down South to way up North. They are loved by woodchucks and yuppies. They smell something fierce and have a reputation for making you smell as well. Wild onions, ramps and wild leeks are one in the same. There is a lot of info on how to forage for these. I suggest you read up a bit before you head out along the river banks to see what you can find. They have a short shelf life and do better wrapped in a damp towel.
Thanks to Michael Chapman for dropping these off for me. He is an excellent hunter, no legs, two or four he keeps the tradtion alive. Always good to know a few outdoorsman.
I turned the top of these into a pesto using some basil, fresh spinach and other tradtional seasonings. I used the rest of them to do a version of Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, Chicken with Forty Wild Leeks. Then I made some stock from the carcass and made a Wild Leek and Potato Soup. Waste not want not. Three recipes, one post. It's a good thing.
Wild Leek Pesto
- tops from twenty or so wild leeks, no whites, about 1 cup packed
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1 cup packed fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup EVOO
- 1 cup grated sharp cheese, asiago or parm are good
- 1/2 cup toasted nuts
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
In your food processor add the wld leeks, basil, spinach and EVOO. Let it run scraping down the sides as needed.
Add the cheese and sea salt, pulse a few times
Add the nuts and pulse a few times. Be sure the nuts are cooled a bit. If too hot you can bind up the cheese with them and have a broken mess on your hands.
Taste, adjust. Use as you would any pesto.
Chicken Stuffed with 40 Wild Leeks
- 1 nice fresh chicken. I love the Smart Chickens and suggest you seek them out.
- 20 wild leeks cut in half
- 2 lemons sliced thick
- butchers twine and salt and pepper
Remove any innards from your chicken and dry off with a paper towel. Season the cavity with salt and pepper.
Cut twenty wild leeks or so in half and stuff that bird. Tie the legs closed.
In your favorite roasting pan slice the two lemons about 3/4 inch thick and line the bottom of the pan so you make a bed to put the bird on.
Put the bird on the lemons, season and roast as usual. Baste as needed. (no need if you own an Aga) Be sure to let the chicken rest at least 20 minutes before carving.
While the bird is resting strain off the juices and skim the grease off the top. If you strain the juices into something tall the grease will be easier to get. I use the container that came with my immersion blender.
Slice and serve, pull out some wild leeks from the cavity to garnish.
Wild Leek & Potato Soup
Sorry no photo here, we ate it up before I could point and shoot. This is more theory than a recipe.
- Chicken stock
- wild leeks
- mire poix aka onion,celery and carrot
Take your stock ( make it from the leftover carcass from the roast chicken) and add rough cut up potatoes so you can just barely see them. To many and the soup is too thick.
Simmer the potatoes and the wild leeks in the stock until very soft.
Puree in blender or food processor.
Small dice some mire poix and sweat until soft. Add the veggies to the puree.
Add a little dairy, if desired taste and adjust