How to Prepare Leeks

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Using leeks in dishes is simple and easy, but preparing them for cooking is another story.

Leeks belong to the onion family and like its cousin it has layers on the inside, only the layers are finer compared to that of onions.  This is where a lot of sandy grit gets into which makes washing leeks quite a chore.

To prepare leeks for cooking, you must first remove the green and tough outer leaves of this herb.  Bend them back and using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, gently snip them off.  Make sure to cut the part where the dark green color of the leaves turn to a paler color.

Then, slice off a thin layer of the leek at the base where the rootlets are.  Cut the leek lengthwise without cutting through the root.  This would make the layers of the leek open without having it fall apart.  Remember not to completely remove the roots—this is what keeps the layers of the leeks together.

Wash the leek thoroughly.  Check in between each tight layer for any remaining dirt.  You can run the leek under the tap or put it in a salad spinner.  Once clean, you can then slice the leek according to how you want to use it.

If you are cooking the leek whole, you would still need to cut it in half (lengthwise) to clean it.  Or you can slice it thinly—if you want it sliced, that is—before dipping it in a bowl of water for about 10 minutes to clean it.

Baby leeks, on the other hand, can be rinsed whole.

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