How to clean a leek

February 16th, 2009 by megan · No Comments

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Leeks are common ingredients in stocks, soups, and lots of other dishes. But dang, are they dirty! You have to be thorough in your cleaning, otherwise you’ll end up with grit in your food – definitely not delicious. Most recipes will call for either the leek whites or the leek greens. If you need just leek whites for a recipe, don’t throw away the greens: save them for stock! Here’s a simple technique for cleaning leeks:

You’ll need:

Leeks
Running water

Procedure:

1. Cut the leek roots from the bottom of the leek, leaving a bit of the root intact so the leek whites will stay together.

2. Cut the dark green leek tops from the leek whites by cutting the dark green leaves at an angle:

Cutting the dark green tops from the leeks

Cutting the dark green tops from the leeks

There are light green leaves hidden underneath the dark green leaves – light green leek parts are often called for along with the leek whites, because they’re tender:

Dark green tops separated from light green and white bottoms

Dark green tops separated from light green and white bottoms

4. Split the leek whites in half:

Leek whites split in half

Leek whites split in half

5. Rinse the leek greens under running water and reserve for stock or other recipes.

See how dirty these suckers can be?

See how dirty these suckers can be?

6. Rinse the leek whites under running water, making sure to separate the layers of the leek in order to get every last bit of grit:

Separate each layer with your fingers as you rinse under running water

Separate each layer with your fingers as you rinse under running water

7. You now have sparkling clean leeks to use as you desire.

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