Leeks are a relative of onions, and sometimes I use them in exchange for onions. Other times some recipes are just better with leeks. Stick to the whitest parts of the leek, though. The green leaves of the leek are edible, but they are tough. Stick to using them for flavoring dishes.
QUICK IDEAS: chop and put on a salad or in salad dressing; use the leaves to make your own vegetable stock; slice them into your morning breakfast fry-up
Slow-Cooked Leeks w/Thyme & Cream: serves 4
10 sprigs thyme
4 leeks, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise with the core intact, cleaned well
1/2 cup white wine
1 lemon, peel cut into wide slices with a vegetable peeler
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
several grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup cream
1) Heat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large frying pan or Dutch oven, heat a glug (2 tbsp) of neutral oil. Briefly fry the thyme in the oil, then push to the side.
2) Pat the leeks dry and sear them, cut-side down, letting them brown lightly. This may need to be done in batches to ensure even contact between the leeks and frying pan. Flip to the round side. Add the wine and allow to reduce by half.
3) Add the lemon rind, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
4) Cover and braise in the oven until the leeks are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the cream, and bring to a boil on a burner until the cream is reduced to the texture of creamed spinach, 3-5 minutes. Remove the lemon peel and thyme, and serve hot or warm.