Still, we did not look at the many layers and rings of a leek as individual items until the other day. I was cleaning some large specimens for a leek salad, which never reached fruition. Instead, I became side tracked by unfurling large sheets of leek from each long, rounded bulb. I set about carefully removing each layer and then rinsing them in cold water. I seasoned them lightly with salt and then vacuum sealed the sheets so they lay flat and were compressed down. I then set them in an 83 degree Celsius water bath to cook for one hour. When the time was up I chilled the luminous green sheets and then opened the bag to check the results. Each sheet of leek was tender, while still retaining it’s shape and intense flavor with the added benefit of a soft melting texture in the mouth.
While our first use of the leek sheet involved pairing it with a shrimp sheet and some rhubarb, the actual applications of being able to drape the allium are just beginning to present themselves. A slow cooked egg hidden beneath a veil of tender leeks would be delicious, as would a fricassee of oysters and their mushrooms. The sheets can also be used as a nest of sorts in which to cradle succulent baby squid or crisp-tender slices lamb neck. These uses and integrations are merely scratches on the surface of possibilities for the incredibly flexible leek.
*we have a picture though our connection is proving to be difficult