Lisa Abraham

There were leeks in our CSA box this week.

Plenty of folks don’t bother to cook with leeks, but they are full of great flavor.

They’re also full of dirt. I’m always amazed at how much sandy grit is inside one leek. If vegetables were comic-strip characters, leeks would be Charlie Brown’s friend Pig-Pen — always so dirty!

The good news with leeks is that most of that dirt will float right out given a good soak in some cold water. Little effort is required to clean them up other than cutting them open and submerging them.

Once they are clean, leeks work well in plenty of dishes, imparting their wonderful oniony flavor. Try chopping them and sauteing them in some oil or butter, and then using them to top a bagel with lox or cream cheese or both.

They are classic in leek and potato soup, but like many vegetables, they can be appreciated in the most simple preparation, like this Italian favorite, roasted leeks.

— Lisa Abraham

ROASTED LEEKS

4 leeks

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim the roots off the leeks and trim off about 2 inches of the greens. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, stopping just short of cutting them all the way through at the bulb, so that each one remains held together.

Rinse the leeks thoroughly under cold running water to remove all the grit. Dry as thoroughly as you can.

Set the leeks on a baking sheet and brush them liberally with the olive oil. Roast them until knife-tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove the leeks from the oven and brush with the vinegar. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and serve hot or warm.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

— Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner by Lisa Caponigri

Find previous installments of This Week’s Harvest and a list of local farmers markets at www.ohio.com/lifestyle/food.