I’m no Welshman but…

…I do enjoy a leek or two. And they’re now at their absolute best. We’re lucky in that I can pick a few, clean off the mud and have them in the pan within minutes.

leek architecture

I must admit I find leeks quite intriguing – their shape is almost architectural. Look at this image. It reminds me of the majestic Royal Palms we see in the West Indies. It almost seems a shame to cut them down! But it’s what goes on below ground that’s even more amazing.

leeks in the ground

The network of tiny roots is truly impressive and explains why they’re so hard to pull up! Brian, our friend and neighbour who grows these lovelies, feeds them on a special (and secret) diet of horse, chicken and duck manure. It’s no wonder they taste so fine – these roots can absorb so much goodness.

leek roots

Washed and sliced, leeks really come alive. These beautifully coloured discs are like mini tree trunks – peel away another layer and the aroma and flavour become more intense.

leek layers

What’s more, they’re so versatile to cook with. I don’t understand why most people’s taste buds are exposed to just the odd bowl of leek and potato soup or leek and mussels.

leek & sausage roll

What a waste! Today, I simply pan fried a few leeks in a little butter and served them with pork and leek sausages.

leek & sausages

So simple, so tasty and so quick (and the kitchen smelled sensational). So go on, get adventurous with the humble leek. It won’t disappoint.

PS. I’m often asked what’s the secret to lighting food for photography and what kind of artificial lights I use. Well, there’s no secret and the only light I use is the type that comes through the window.

natural light leek & sausages

But don’t you need a sunny day? Not if today is anything to go by. It’s November 8, the wind is blowing at up to 50mph, the rain is pouring and the light is really grim – dark and gloomy. So how come these images look OK? I positioned my shooting table adjacent to a large window, set the cameras on tripods and used a mirror to reflect available light. There was really nothing more to it. The ISO was set to 400.


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