Tuesday, 16 April 2013

wild leek omelette

Mid-April, and it is near the end of the season for gathering wild leeks out in the fields and in the vineyards (they're called poireaux des vignes here, for the likelihood is that they'll be found growing between the rows of grapevines, but we also find them in our field where the fruit trees and olive trees reside). Happily, there has been so much rain this spring that there are lots of them waiting to be dug up easily from the moist soil, and so I was able to set my Renting Writer the task of picking them for our supper a few days ago.

Lindy Mechefske, a freelance journalist from Kingston (and the author of a beautiful cookbook titled A TASTE OF WINTERGREEN) has been renting the studio space in the barn since the the first week of April, and it has been a great pleasure for me to have her company, particularly in the kitchen. We've shared meal preparation several times, and it was Lindy who made this delicious omelette (I did nick over to Madame Cestini's vegetable stand to pick up the asparagus, so I can be said to have "helped" a little). Although the leeks had a slightly bitter taste (perhaps because it's the end of the season) even after being sauteed in butter, with a little cheese in the omelette they redeemed themselves nicely. Lindy -- as I have also learned to do -- uses a little cold water when she beats the eggs, thus achieving a "light as a cloud" effect and it was one swell omelette -- with fresh asparagus and a salad featuring young dandelion leaves (nature's bounty right at hand).

I took Lindy down to the field where the leeks can be found, and she had a pretty good time digging them up... I was happy... I was back on the terrace having a glass of wine while she did the work!

I should note that the wild leeks here are a slightly different variety than those we find in the bush in Ontario... They're from the same family but the Canadian branch is ALLIUM TRICOCCUM and these French ones are ALLIUM POLYANTHUM. The difference? French leeks are more "leeky" than "oniony", with a long stem and thin, dark green leaves. The white bulb is quite round, and usually has several tiny baby-bulbs attached, which can be rubbed off and left in the soil to start a new crop.

Wild Leek Omelette with fresh asparagus: SPRING!

Lindy has made several other lovely meals using TASTE OF WINTERGREEN recipes...including pesto pizza with blue cheese and dried figs -- delicious! You can learn more about Lindy by going on her website http://lindymechefske.com