How to Use Leeks

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Leeks are a member of the onion family, yet have a milder, mellower taste. Often thought of as a gourmet food, leeks can be used in any recipe calling for onions. Unlike the onion, the leek does need to be cleaned before using as sand and dirt can accumulate between the layers of the leek plant. This process takes only a few minutes and is simple to accomplish.

Things You'll Need

  • Leeks Sharp knife Paper towels Butter Celery Carrots Potatoes Chicken stock Garlic Red wine

Cleaning the Leeks

  • Cut the green leaves of the leeks approximately 2 to 3 inches above the white bulbs.

  • Cut the root end of the bulb just above the roots, much as you would a regular onion.

  • Cut the leek in half lengthways.

  • Wash the leek halves under running, cold water, peeling away each layer to remove any accumulated sand or dirt.

  • Drain the leeks on paper towels or a clean dish cloth and pat dry.

Cooking With Leeks

  • Slice the leeks either across or lengthwise into desired sizes. Fresh leeks can be used raw in salads or other cold recipes calling for onions.

  • Combine two thinly sliced leeks with two ribs of chopped celery and two thinly sliced carrots. In a saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter. Sauté the leeks, celery and carrots until tender. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and three cubed red potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are tender for a simple potato leek soup.

  • Make a leek sauce by sautéing two thinly sliced leeks and two cloves of fresh, sliced garlic in butter until tender. Add 1 cup of red wine and simmer until reduced by half. Serve with roast pork or beef.

  • Slice one or two leeks into bite-sized chunks and add to stir fry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Leeks can be added to soups and stews, either in place of or in addition to onions. Leeks should be stored in the refrigerator in the unclean state until ready to use. Wash the individual leeks needed for your recipe. Refrigerated leeks will keep up to one week.

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