According to three of my three my gardening books, you need to blanch leeks about 1 month before you harvest them. Blanching in this case means covering the stems with cardboard of some sort to make them white.
You do this so you end up harvesting a white leek with green leaves, as opposed to a green leek with even greener leaves.
Blanching your leeks is a good idea, as it could be quite confusing if you are using an unblanched leek in a recipe that calls you to chop the white part of the leek finely and discard the rest. While I might be fine guessing which of the green parts to chop and which to dispose of, it could potentially confuse some of my more scrupulous recipe following friends and/ or some of my less culinarily confident friends.
Letting unblanched leeks circulate in the general population could therefore have disastrous consequences! So, as a responsible leek grower, it is important that I blanch my leeks.
Mary, mary quite contrary how do you blanch your leeks?
Obviously I didn’t want to purchase any special leek blanching products and I don’t use enough clingwrap, paper towels, aluminium foil, baking paper or giftwrap in a calendar month (or even a calendar year) to ensure a surplus of the long cardboard tube centres.
But, like many other urban households, my household does have access the smaller cardboard tubes they use in loo paper rolls.
Given the inevitability of death, taxes and some other things, it is possible to eventually build up a stache of these smaller carboard tubes which one can cut in half and then put several around each leek that is ready to be blanched as part of say…a homemade Sunday project:
Of course being cardboard, when faced with regular waterings, these little blanching tools will eventually lose their rollness and fall off the leeks they are supposed to be blanching…unless one applies some judiciously tied jute twine to make their little cardboard blanching tools into a little homecraft corset:
It’s like a quaker-design liking, scrapbooking focussed fairy godmother waved her magic wand over a set of POGs before they got sent to the ball: