French-style blanched leeks
- Robert Lauriston May 6, 2006 04:02 PM
Anybody seen French-style blanched leeks around? None today at Monterey Market or Berkeley Bowl or Berkeley farmers' market.
This isn't a different variety, they're just grown in paper tubes and/or mounds of dirt so that you end up with 8-10" of white stalk, instead of 2-5" and a bunch of greens. Can't make a proper poireaux vinaigrette with those stubby things.
Is that how it's done? Yes, please report any local sources for these. Steamed leaks in a vinagrette are scrumptious.
re: Robert Lauriston
I've bought them the last two weeks from Tu Universo organic farm of Watsonville from the farmers market at Natividad Medical Center. This post shows a photo of its booth.
I've been baking them in a 9" loaf pan or in a lasagna pan and sometimes the tender white part has been longer than the pan. Very nice job with these, very clean and just a bit of dirt that lodges in the leaves. Last season I gave a produce manager at Whole Foods an earful and sent a note to corporate about how muddy and ridiculously meager the yield was on their leeks sold by the pound. Tu Universo's are 1000% better. In Salinas the price is $2 per bunch, and a bunch has 2 large or 3 smaller diameter leeks. The price is likely higher at distant markets. I've been buying from Tu Universo since the Salinas market where Catalan Farms sold closed for the season and the produce is equally good. The fennel and red serranos (for Hunan salt cured chiles) are great right now. Tu Universo also has organic milpero and nopales down here.
The farm sells at PCFMA markets in the Bay Area, including Vallejo and Palo Alto, maybe others too.