It’s hard to find local produce at this time of year, unless maybe if you live in California. Which I don’t. I was at the produce store looking at veggies grown in Mexico and then my gaze landed on a pile of crisp local leeks. I was a little overzealous because I bought enough leeks to feed a bus full of vegans. I didn’t feed the vegans, though. I just fed them to my family (the leeks, not the vegans). In any event, here is a recipe for a creamy, dairy-free leek dip.
When it’s your first time serving leeks to the little ones, or to the big ones for that matter, just remember the golden rule: remain indifferent if kids don’t like something. They don’t have to eat it, but they do have to try it. If your kids still refuse to try a bite, just stuff it down their throats anyway, like I did. No I didn’t do that. But I really really wanted to. Instead I just repeated for the 80th time, “you only need to try a spoonful, you might like it”. Turns out that we were late for taekwondo class because not only did my 5-year-old try it, but he then demanded more and proceeded to eat enormous blobs of leek dip. This is called irony.
Under no circumstances should parents mask the flavor of the leeks (or any vegetable they are cooking). Children should be exposed to different flavors and slowly learn to appreciate them. In other words: no adding ketchup or mustard just to coax a child to eat something. Who the heck puts ketchup on leeks anyway?
Caramelized Leek Dip:
2 bunches of leeks, washed well (obviously) and sliced
3 stalks organic celery, sliced
freshly cracked pepper
1-2 t balsamic vinegar
Saute leeks and celery in olive oil for about 15 minutes
Remove from heat, stir in balsamic vinegar, pepper and chopped parsley
Use a hand blender and blend to desired consistency. The less adventurous the kids are, the more blending may be required. Once their palates grow accustomed to the flavor of leek, you can blend for a shorter period of time.
Eat alone or with anything (rice, potatoes, spread on toast)