If you read My Garden post from yesterday you will remember that I have an abundant leek crop this year.
I plan to leave some of the leeks in the garden until after the first frost. However I have so many I wanted to put some in the freezer now while I have some free time.
Leeks belong to the onion family and they look a bit like an overgrown scallion! I love to add them to casseroles, soups or quiches. I’ve never heard of canning leeks but there are some other ways to preserve your leeks so you can enjoy them during the cold winter months.
Short term they will store quite well in your refrigerator. It’s pretty easy to prepare them to store in your fridge, just place them in a loose fitting plastic bag and plan to use them in seven days.
Leeks can also be frozen. They may not be as fresh as a fresh leek but used in a soup or casserole they will still be delicious. To freeze the leeks, remove the outer layer and rinse thoroughly. Slice the leek into thin circles.
Place the sliced leeks in a freeze bag, seal, label and date the contents. You should plan to use them within three months for the best taste.
You can also dry your leeks. I use my dehydrator to preserve some of my leeks. Again remove the outer layer and slice into 1/4 inch circles.Place the leeks on your dehydrator trays.
Dry at 100 degrees for 18 hours or until crisp. You could also dry them in your oven by baking at 170 degrees for 6 hours. Place the dried leek in a sealable bag and store in a cool area. To re-hydrate them, soak in hot water for at least 30 minutes and then drain.
No matter how you decide to preserve your leeks try to leave them in the ground for as long as possible. Once your temperatures drop to freezing, the leeks remaining in the garden should be harvested.
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