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In season early winter: Baby leeks, portobello mushrooms

In season early winter: Baby leeks, portobello mushrooms

Baby leeks

These elegant veges carry the same connotations of fine dining, sweetness, tenderness and flavour, as baby carrots. But the baby vegetable trend is now fully accessible and can enhance your home cooking too. As the whole plant is edible, after you’ve tried their raw crispness in salads or as a garnish (like spring onions), the best way to get baby leeks’ buttery creaminess is to cook them whole. They can be braised, steamed, roasted, wrapped in prosciutto or filo and baked… your only limit is your imagination.

Nutrition facts

Leeks contain several antioxidant compounds. A higher intake of phytochemicals with antioxidant activity is thought to protect against a range of chronic diseases.
The whites of leeks contain oligosachharides, so if you’re sensitive to this FODMAP group, you may only tolerate a small serve, but the green part is fine.

Recipe ideas

Lamb and vege meatballs with spiced lentils
Warm roasted new potatoes and baby seasonal vegetables
Pork, apricot and thyme strudel with baby vegetables

Portobello mushrooms

This large, distinctive mushroom is a very versatile ingredient. It has a rich flavour and a meaty texture that lends itself to being used as a base for vege stacks, burgers and breakfast dishes; a discrete, choppable main ingredient for many dishes; and as a finely chopped, flavoursome addition to blended mixes, eg, meatballs, burger patties etc.

Nutrition fact

Eating mushrooms is a great way to add selenium to our diets, a mineral important to the immune system. University of Otago research has linked low selenium with depressive symptoms in young adults. Mushrooms also add varying amounts of a whole range of essential vitamins and minerals.

Recipe ideas

Tomato, bocconcini and prosciutto roasted mushrooms
Braised spicy mushroom and tofu
Lamb and vege meatballs with spiced lentils
Quick broccoli and blue cheese risotto
Baked egg and mushroom toast topper
Mexi portobello burgers with pickled pink onions
Mini mushroom burgers

First published: Jul 2018

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