How to freeze Leeks?
Although it is possible to freeze whole leeks, we do not recommend it. This is because thawing will take a very long time and you won’t be able to prep or cut your leeks until they’ve finished thawing.
Why not take the time to cut your leeks into slices before freezing them? It’s much more efficient!
How to freeze leeks?
This method is the most effective for freezing leeks. This way, you can easily take a portion of leeks out of the freezer. It involves a little preparation beforehand, but then you will have your own supply of leeks ready to use:
- Clean your leeks and cut off the root end and any excess green stems.
- Cut your leeks into slices according to the size you usually use to cook your leeks.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water boils, plunge your leeks into the water to blanch them for 30 to 45 seconds. The leeks will thus retain their color, texture and flavor. Then immediately plunge the leeks into cold water to prevent them from cooking further.
- Drain the leeks and let them dry completely. You can also pat them with a paper towel to save time.
- Spread the leek slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that the slices of leeks do not touch each other. The idea is to pre-freeze each slice individually so that they don’t stick together afterwards.
- Put the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour.
- Take the baking sheet out of the freezer and transfer the leek slices to a freezer bag or an airtight container. Carefully seal the freezer bag or container, pushing out as much air as possible.
- Label the freezer bag or container with the date and contents and put it in the freezer. Now you can grab a handful of frozen leeks as you need them.
What is the shelf life of leeks in the freezer?
Leeks can be kept for a very long time in the freezer… provided you blanch them. If you’ve blanched your leeks to retain their flavor and nutrients, you can freeze them for about 10 to 12 months .
On the other hand, if you have not taken the time to blanch them, we recommend that you keep them for a maximum of 2 months in the freezer. After this time, you may find that they don’t have much flavor.
How to defrost leeks?
The good news is that you don’t need to thaw your leeks. You have two options.
Boil them: bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and plunge your frozen leeks into it. Cook them for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices, until cooked through. Leeks will thaw very quickly in boiling water.
Sauté them: heat a frying pan over medium-low heat with a knob of butter and put your frozen leeks in it. Cook them slowly until they are thawed. You can then turn up the heat if you want them to resume color at the end of cooking. If you cook your leeks over high heat too soon, the center of the leeks will still be frozen while their surface will already be cooked through.
Can you refreeze leeks?
Leeks are not among the vegetables we recommend you refreeze. Each time you freeze and then thaw leeks, their consistency deteriorates. If you repeat this operation, your leeks will be difficult to cook and eat later.
Instead, use the method above to freeze your leeks so that you can thaw a small amount at a time.
Can you freeze leeks without blanching them?
Yes, but they won’t keep as long in the freezer. If you blanch your leeks, you can keep them for 10 to 12 months in the freezer. What’s more, blanching a vegetable before freezing helps preserve its flavor, nutrients and color.
In summary, you don’t have to launder them, but we strongly recommend that you do.