How to Clean Leeks

Leeks are a delicious vegetable, but they're grown in sandy soil, so they need a good cleaning before you use them in recipes.
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How-To: Clean Leeks

Since they're grown in sandy soil, leeks are usually in need of a good cleaning.

Step 1: Trim the Roots

Leeks are a lot like onions or scallions but they have their own unique flavor. Trim the root end and remove the dark tops.

Step 2: Prepping Leeks

Typically, you should use the light part of the leek for your recipes but you can also try the dark area for stocks. If your recipe calls for large pieces or asks you to cut matchsticks, here's how you clean them.

Step 3: Cut the Leeks

Cut the leeks into sections about 4 inches long.

Step 4: Cut in Half

Slice the leeks in half lengthwise.

Step 5: Fill a Baking Dish or Bowl With Water

A baking dish works well because it's flat. Check the layers for any hidden dirt. Tip: The leeks will float and the dirt falls to the bottom.

Step 6: Slice the Clean Leeks

Slice the leeks according to recipe.

Step 7: Or Clean After You Cut Them

You can also clean the leeks after you cut. Simply slice, rinse, and lift. Tip: You can store leeks in a damp paper towel in the fridge for two or three days.

Step 8: That's It!

Now they're ready to add their subtle flavor to your braise, saute or roast.