Leek, an annual herbaceous plant, the onion family. The height of the plant is 40-90 cm. The leaves of green-blue, whitish or pink green to blue flowers form an umbrella. The bulb is elongated, without bulbs or with few onions. The stem leaves the middle of the bulb. Linear lanceolate leaves, covered with a long nose; the umbrella is large, spherical; The perianto is whitish or less pink, with slightly rough leaves. The filaments of the yarn are longer than the perianto, the interns are separated by three, with the middle part 2 times shorter than the base.
The native land of the leek is the Mediterranean, in the territory of this region and now its initial form of wild growth is found: grape onion (Allium ampeloprasum). The cultural species probably developed from it for a long time, since in ancient Egypt the leek was already one of the most important plant plants. He was known in ancient times in Greece and Rome. It is grown mainly in America and Europe (it is especially popular in France and England). In Ukraine, leek is grown everywhere, and in Russia mainly in the southern regions.
The most common varieties of leeks:
Mercury: designed for use in autumn and winter, it has wide linear leaves of pleasant taste;
Karatan is a variety of leek of late maturation, which is characterized by an excellent flavor, gives fresh vegetables to frost, the "leg" has a cylindrical shape, up to 20 cm long.
Bulgarian late mature - has the same properties as Karatan. The length of the "legs" is up to 30 cm.
Before cooking leeks, you should rinse it very carefully, since between the green leaves the soil and the sand often get stuck. For onions, cut them in half lengthwise and wash them, holding them vertically under cold running water.
The leek is characterized by a high content of salts of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium. The plant has an essential oil, which includes sulfur, protein substances, vitamins: ascorbic and nicotinic acids, thiamine, riboflavin, carotene. The leek has a valuable property that no other vegetable crop has: during storage, the amount of ascorbic acid in the bleached portion increases more than once and a half. The healing effect of leek was known in the distant past. Its use is recommended in patients with gout, rheumatism, scurvy, with urolithiasis and obesity, excessive mental and physical work. Due to the large amount of potassium salts, the leek shows a pronounced diuretic effect, it is useful in obesity, rheumatism, gout.
In clinical studies, it has been shown that leukemia normalizes metabolism, increases the secretory function of the glands of the digestive tract, has a diuretic and choleretic effect, improves liver activity, increases appetite and has antisclerotic properties. It is recommended for atherosclerosis, obesity, rheumatism and gout. In the kitchen, it is used to make soups, mashed leeks, salads, sauces, add it to meat, etc. The leek is a good addition to fried eggs, it can be fried in dough. It goes well with the cheeses. Onions can be preserved in sweet and sour marinade. This crop lacks a pungent smell and taste. Its aroma is more tender, and the taste is finer, more pleasant, sweeter than that of onions. For feeding use a thickened white lower part of the stem and wide and flat young leaves. The old leaves are hard and taste unpleasant. The leek is added to soup concentrates, frozen vegetable sets, sauces. Onion vegetables combine well with fresh vegetables, put in salads, cold snacks and are used as separate snacks. The leek aromatizes meat and vegetable soups, and is used as a garnish for fish and meat.
The leek is contraindicated in inflammatory diseases of the stomach and duodenum. Traditional medicine often uses leek juice and a decoction of leaves in the treatment of urolithiasis. However, it is not recommended to take it with oxalate stones. Also, do not eat large amounts of onions at a time. This will cause a headache. In addition, you can not eat leek with problems with the bladder and kidneys.