How to clean leeks

How to clean leeks

I absolutely love leeks. They have a mild onions flavor that tastes amazing when cooked. I think most people avoid using them because they think they are complicated. Once you have a little bit of information, they’re actually really easy to use. Here are a few notes about leeks.

  • Unlike regular onions they are only available a few months a year and are at their peak in January.
  • Only the white parts of the leek are edible, however, you can use the green stalks for stock. Just toss them into the freezer until you are ready to use.
  • While they are in the onion family, they are much more mild and often seen in recipes combined with regular onions or shallots.
  • Since leeks are more of a seasonal vegetable, you’ll find them plentiful at your local farmer’s market during the winter months. You can also find them at the grocery store but you may have to look a little bit harder.

How to clean leeks

Leeks have lots of layers and are notorious for collecting dirt in sand between those layers. If you think you’re just going to rinse them, forget about it. To ensure your leeks are grit free, follow these steps.

  • Chop the leeks according to your recipe.
  • Add the chopped leeks to a large bowl and then fill it with water.
  • Using your hand, separate the layers of leeks and swish around in the water.
  • Let the leeks sit until you are ready to cook.

The genius of this method is that the water does all the work for you. The dirt drops to the bottom of the bowl while the leeks float. When you are ready to cook, just grab the leeks off the top. Super simple!!

If you’re looking for recipes using leeks, try my Chicken and Mushroom PastaSeafood Stew or Braised Chicken and Leeks.



How to clean leeks
4 replies
  1. Anna Pry
    Anna Pry says:

    I often eat the green tops also; they take longer to soften but are still tasty when cooked right. To clean mine I cut them lengthwise so I can separate the layers and rinse them out under running water.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      It’s shocking how much dirt gets inside of a leek! Next week is a braised chicken and leeks recipe that is amazing. The leeks are almost buttery.


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