Alright folks, why do onions and garlic always get the shelf space on the the spice rack? There are other alliums! Shallots, scallions, chives, my personal favorite ramps. Apparently there are well over a thousand allium species.
Note: If you are blanking on me here with what an allium is no worries. Alliums are the genus (taxonomic category) name of the onion family. Often times in farming we use these taxonomic categories to group various plants. An example being tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and potatoes. These comprise the Solanaceae family. Broccoli, cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts belong to the Brassicca family.
So today in honor of my upheaval over lack of allium condiments I will suggest the addition of a new powdered product to your repertoire. Move aside garlic and onion there’s a new seasoning in town. Make way for Allium ampeloprasum aka leek powder.
Synonymous with fall, leeks are perhaps most famous for their appearance in the French soup Vichyssoise, a puree of leeks, onions, potatoes, cream and stock. Mild in flavor leeks have the onion taste but lack the onion’s boldness and astringency. And as a bonus…no tears and sniffles. Leeks unlike onions contain significantly much less of the enzymes that turn on the waterworks mid onion dice. No tear preventative ski google donning necessary while you chop.
So, as I was rifling through my fridge the other day I wandered upon some of these green and white variegated veggies and figured I had better do something with them. I conceptualized pickled leeks but that sounded boring and common. Again, their flavor is so refined I felt the vinegar would overpower. Leek chips? Dehydrate them? That sounded better. Then I had it…Leek Powder!!!
Oh boy, I know you are thinking holy moly Urban Nettle enough with the powders. I know but leek powder is NOT something you see on the shelf at the store. Reason being it is a very grow time intensive crop that requires at least 100 if not more days in the ground. On top of that leeks need to be trenched as well as hilled while they grow in order to keep the white stalks from turning green. Yes there are valid reasons leek powder is not sold at the local co-op. But in the name of flavor and beauty…maybe it should be!
Perhaps one day I’ll start bottling my own spices under Urban Nettle Wildcrafted Powders but until then here’s the recipe to try for yourself. Flavor profile is reminiscent of chives with an intriguing green pea undertone. All I really want to do with this is throw it on some potato chips with mustard powder, black pepper and sea salt. Coming to a store near you…if only.
Suggested Uses: Great addition for a little allium flavor to salads and salad dressings. My next idea is to use it as a base for a risotto. Also tasty blended with other seasonings as a rub for chicken and pork. Works great added into soups.
Makes as much as you dehydrate
1. Remove the roots the outer layers of the leeks. Next peel off the outer layer of skin and chop into 1/8 inch coins.
2. Place the chopped leeks in a bowl of water to rid the leeks of dirt and debris. A good swish and 5 minute soak should do it.
3. Next dry the leeks off either in a salad spinner or with a towel. Place the leeks on your dehydrator trays and dehydrate on your vegetable setting at 125ºF. This will take approximately 8-10 hours.
4. After the leeks have been throughly dried, remove from dehydrator and allow to cool. Remove from the trays and pulverize in a food processor or blender. WARNING: You will have leek dust clouds during this process. Careful not to inhale too deeply!
5. After the leeks have been thoroughly pulverized remove and place in a container. Leek powder completed and ready to use.