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by Bailey Swilley
If you love onions but are looking for something more mild, locate your nearest leek. Leeks are crazy underrated, and it’s crazy how many different foods and flavors they compliment. And, if we’re being completely honest, we have a blast slicing them up into perfect circles. Lucky for you, these gorgeous greens are in season. Explore 12 creative ways to bring them into the kitchen!
smoked salmon potato leek torta
Turn your smoked salmon breakfast up several notches with a quiche‐like dish. The mild taste of the cooked leeks balances out the saltiness of the cured fish.
creamy leek pancetta pappardelle for two
You’re bound to have a few pasta nights this winter, so why not try this rich pappardelle recipe from Blogging Over Thyme? If you have any doubt that leeks taste amazing with pancetta, this is sure to make you a believer. Or a beleeker. (Okay, we’ll stop).
cream of leek and kale soup
When it’s freezing out, you’ll want comfort food. This recipe is creamy, but not super unhealthy, so you can have it on more than one snow day this year.
baked salmon stuffed with leeks
Sick of the lemon salmon you bust out every time you’re on a fish oil kick? This recipe marries many different flavors, fighting food boredom.
potato leek feta pie
This pie is perfect for a light dinner or brunch. Eggy, cheesy, and green, it’s a delightful way to have your pie and eat your leeks, too.
healthy sweet potato gratin
This dish from Hello Glow may look rich and cheesy, but it’s actually simple and light — half a cup of parmesan goes a long way! Leeks compliment all the flavors in this gratin, especially the natural sweetness of the yams.
creamy artichoke leek white bean hummus
Adding leeks to your hummus might sound odd at first, but trust us, you need to do this. Devour with pita chips or freshly cut veggies with this awesome hummus recipe from Blissful Basil.
roast chicken breast and brussels sprouts
There’s no way around this simple truth — leeks are simply better with bacon fat. This meat and veggie recipe from Vodka and Biscuits is as filling as it is yummy.
seared scallops with cauliflower‐leek puree and anchovy dressing
Leeks taste amazing with seafood. Anchovies and scallops bring these veggies to life with this recipe from Glamour.
dijon seared lamb chops with leeks and bok choy
Thinking about going paleo in the new year? This recipe from Three Beans on a String combines greens and protein, which are perfect for lean, mean eating in 2016.
leek macaroni and cheese
This recipe from the UK’s Slimming World is super quick and light — perfect for a January weeknight dinner. Can’t find quark? Try your favorite low‐fat cheese instead.
pork and leek dumplings
Forget cabbage and try a delicious and frankly, better‐smelling alternative the next time you make dim sum. Never made dumplings? This easy recipe from Farm Fresh Eats will help you out.