Leeks are dirty vegetables and they are sneaky about it. Look at a leek from the outside and you see a beautifully sleek, slender, green and white vegetable- but you are being deceived. Cut a leek open, separate the layers and you expose the truth. Leeks have a dirty little secret. Literally.
Have you ever cooked with leeks and found the dish to be crunchy? That's the dirt. Is your leek soup gritty? Same story. Washing leeks only on the outside is a recipe for a ruined meal. Unless you know where to look, the soil hiding in the leaves can easily be overlooked.
Here is a quick tutorial on how clean leeks.
Wash the outside of the leek thoroughly.
Cut off the roots.
|Look - no dirt!|
With a sharp knife slit the leek in half lengthways.
|Shockingly dirty little secret.|
Open up each layer of the leek, looking for rings of dirt. Thoroughly wash the inside of each layer.
Reassemble the leek half, place face down on the cutting board and cut into rounds. Most recipes call for only the white and light green part of the leek but the dark green leaves can be used in homemade vegetable stock (recipe coming soon).
If the leek was very dirty you can separate the rounds and soak in a bowl of water to remove any remaining particles.
I love leeks and I think they are worth the extra effort to prepare. Besides,what's a little dirt between friends?
See you in the kitchen,