{Tips & Tricks} Cleaning Leeks


You might have seen these lovely vegetables in the grocery store and wondered what they are. These beautifully green stalks of goodness are known as leeks. Leeks have thick, cylindrical stalks with a bulbous root and flat leaves. They are related to onions, garlic, scallions and shallots and add such a delicious hint of flavor to many dishes, especially soups. Leeks are available all throughout the year but are in season from the fall to the early part of spring.

Your first step is to buy leeks. Your second step is to figure out how to use them and that’s where I can help. Since leeks are root vegetables, they tend to contain a lot of dirt within the stalks. The cleaning process is very important so that you ensure that clean and fresh leeks arrive at your table…and that your dinner guests are not chewing on dirt and grit. After just a few steps, you’ll have leeks that are perfect to add to a number of dishes.

How To Clean Leeks

  1. Cut off green tops of leeks, remove the outer tough layer of the green tops and discard the root.
  2. Slice the body of the leek in half lengthwise. 
  3. Cut the leeks into the portion sizes according to the recipe.
  4. Fill a bowl with cold water and submerge the cut leeks into the water.
  5. Swish the water around to make sure that the dirt is removed.
  6. Allow the dirt to settle at the bottom of the bowl and remove the leeks from the water using a slotted spoon.

My favorite recipe recipe using leeks is Potato Leek Soup. What is your favorite recipe that calls for leeks?

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  1. That's great that you shared how to clean leeks. I tend to fill a bowl with water, then submerge a mesh strainer and swish the sliced leeks around. That way, I just lift out the strainer and the dirt sinks to the bottom. Your way works great, too. I love potato leek soup, #1. I use leeks when I cook leafy greens and when I make a leek & potato pizza. They are so good!

  2. This post was/is very helpful. I think a lot of people shy away from leeks because they tend to think they're hard to clean. Nice that you made it so easy to understand. My favorite leek recipe is a carrot and leek tart. Yum!

  3. Love leeks. They have great flavor. I use them in place of onions in many foods I cook. One favorite is to cut in half, drizzle with olive oil & balsamic vinegar, herb of choice & pinch sea salt. Broil til golden. Paired with mashed potatoes & favorite hearty meal is highly delicious! My husband loves this w/Lamb, pork roast, prime rib…mmmm

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