What’s In Season: May

How to select: Leeks, which look like enormous scallions, should be a healthy green with unblemished, cylindrical white bulbs. Related to garlic and onions, leeks offer a milder, sweeter flavor. Choose slender specimens and refrigerate in plastic to keep fresh.

Preparation tips: Sometimes called “poor man’s asparagus,” leeks make a delicious side dish. Trim tough, dark greens and hard root bottoms, then slit lengthwise to wash grit from leeks’ concentric layers. Steam light green and white portions to preserve moisture, and sauté or grill with a bit of olive oil and herbs (try tarragon, thyme, or oregano) until golden. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

Health benefits: Chosen by the Welsh as their national symbol of strength, leeks offer urban warriors immune-boosting vitamin C, iron, and fiber.

—Elisa Bosley

Photo: Leigh Beisch