Baby leeks are entirely edible, including the roots. Baby leeks do not form bulbs or produce cloves like their Allium cousins; instead, they develop a sleek edible cylindric stem. Baby leeks more closely resemble Spring Onions. Their snow-white stalk with green tips is petite and slim; their youthful stage offers more advantageous culinary benefits such as tender, consistently moist flesh, and milder sweeter flavor. Baby leeks are crisp when raw, developing a melting quality when cooked.
Baby leeks are mild enough to eat raw well-textured enough for withstanding long cooking periods. They are perfect for classic recipes such as pot pies, leek tarts, and hearty soups. Baby leeks are a great salad or pizza ingredient, can be caramelized when sauteed with olive oil or butter and added to potato dishes and pasta. Grilling leeks imparts rich smokiness. Baby leeks should be blanched before grilling to retain their coloring and don't overburn. Baby leeks pair well with cream sauces such as bechamel, cheeses, especially goat, cheddar, aged sheep's cheese, bread crumbs, poultry, grilled and smoked whitefish, apples, fennel, garlic, mustard, cooked eggs, tomatoes, and vinaigrettes.
Store uncut and unwashed leeks in the fridge to keep them fresh the longest. If you're going to use your leeks within a couple of days, leaving them at room temperature is okay. Consider wrapping them in plastic or using a plastic bag if other foods absorb their smell.
Grilled Asparagus and Baby Leeks
1 tbsp butter
250 grams asparagus
150 grams of baby leeks trimmed and cut lengthways
salt and pepper to season