Twinkle introduced me to the wonders of leeks last year, and I keep finding new ways to incorporate them into my cooking.  First (since this was all new to me), a leek is a vegetable related to the onion, but tends to be more prominent in a dish’s flavor than if the chef had used onions instead.  I also find the texture to be more satisfying, but that’s just personal preference.  You can easily chop them up into strips and saute them with some garlic in butter, but I’ve lately found that I like to just get them sizzling for a minute or two, then add some salt and pepper, drop the heat to a simmer, and sweat them until they’re slightly translucent.

Yesterday I added some leeks prepared as above to a bottled pasta sauce with fabulous results.  They add a nice texture to the pasta dish (penne, in this case), and provide some extra variety to the flavor of the sauce.  For a quick side dish, you can saute the leeks until they just begin to brown, then splash in a bit of white wine and stir in some other vegetables (peas or zucchini work well), boil off the wine, and serve!