Egging on Leeks

     I have been reading several blogs lately and it seems like many of them have something in common.  They have been dealing with eggs.  I am not sure why this is, maybe it is just a coincidence.  But I decided to jump on the egg bandwagon.  More accurately I had not done much grocery shopping all week and was trying to figure out something to make for dinner that didn’t require me to spend a long time at the store.  I hadn’t been much of an egg person until recently. Oh there was a short stint when I was in junior high school.  I would get up every morning and make myself a cheese omelet for breakfast. I must have been concerned with my protein intake.  I actually ate that every weekday morning for a whole school year.  Those eggs turned me off from eggs for a long time.
     My mom also used to make quiche a lot when we were growing up.  I remember dreading eating it. I wanted to like it. It looked so beautiful and elegant in the white, low, round dish my mom would make it in. Her crusts scalloped edges incased flecks of yellow from eggs and cheese and green from the broccoli she would add but my brother and I would literally gag it down.  Maybe it was the consistency we did not appreciate at the time, or maybe it was just stupid kid stuff.  Probably more the latter but eventually I got over it.  I think my brother has too.  Now I love quiche.  I also came to appreciate why my mom made it a lot for the six of us.  For one thing making a quiche is pretty easy.  The hardest part in my mind is making the crust if you are so inclined.  My mom’s quiche always included a made from scratch crust but there are good pre-made alternatives for a quicker dinner. Plus quiche is versatile, even if the recipe calls for one thing, it can be adapted to use whatever is on hand.  As a bonus it can be relatively cheaply, so it is an economical dinner. That is an important thing to consider for a large family and is probably one of the reasons my mom made it.  I also think quiche can be quite beautiful and these days very tasty.  My husband enjoys it as well.
     Back to the matter at hand, last nights dinner and this afternoons lunch at work.  I have been reading a newly (for me) discovered blog called The Kitchenette.  There was a recipe for a tiny quiche with leeks.  I tucked this thought away in my mind but I kept recalling it.  I could not get those leeks out of my mind.  I had made quiche many times but I have never cooked with leeks before.  Until recently, well exactly yesterday, I had found them intimidating.  This was due to a preconceived notion I had from an article I once read about leeks and how difficult they were to prep.  I remember the writer going on and on about how they can be very dirty in the compact layers and one had to take care to clean them well.  This always made me think they were labor intensive and turned me off from using them.
     Last night however I decided to put them in a quiche of my very own.  I had purchased 3 in a bundle for $2.80.  They were beautiful.  Their color was gorgeous with a sharp contrast, white halfway up the outside and dark green the other half.  Preparing them was relaxing to me.  The leeks were compact and as I cut off the end I could see all the layers.  They reminded me of the rings of a tree. Inside as I chopped the color changed.  First a beautiful light yellow to light green and finally a dark, almost forest green.  My artist husband said he wanted to take a picture of them to make a color palate.   I decided to use my salad spinner to soak and wash them after they were all chopped. The salad spinner worked fabulously and they took no time to clean.

     Not quite as pungent as onion or garlic they were still reminiscent of these with a mild flavor that was slightly sweet.  Just like the eggs my feelings about leeks have obviously changed.  I fell in love with them so much I used two leeks in my quiche.  The deep dish pie crust I used allowed all the extra vegetables which makes me feel better about eating two slices.  If you have a food you have been ignoring, maybe because of a prejudice or some long ago experience, I suggest you reevaluate it.  Give it a second chance.  It may just become one of your favorites!  Happy re-experimenting and bon appetit!

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