How to Choose Fresh Leeks


Determining if a leek is fresh is quite simple.  Unlike other herbs and vegetables where you have to look for vague signs, choosing fresh leeks is easy.

One of the early signs of decomposition is softening.  When a vegetable is limp and lacks vigor, you can be sure it is well on its way to spoiling.

When shopping for leeks, select firm, straight ones.  It should have long, white necks with deep green leaves.  Avoid those that are already yellowing or have brown parts at the tips.  The leek “bulbs” also should not have any kind of bruise or cracks.

Typically, young leeks are favored over bigger, older leeks because they are tender and sweeter in flavor.  Mature leeks have thicker base and tend to be tough, fibrous and stringy even after they have been cooked.

A young leek will have a diameter of about an inch and a half—even less.  They have thinner bodies that are great in any vegetable dish.

It is normal for leeks to be a little muddy.  And although it does not affect the taste of this herb, it makes cleaning it a little difficult.

It’s best to use leeks straight away after buying it from the fresh farm market.  But you can store it unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator.  Stored this way, it should last for about a week or two.