How to Prep & Clean Leeks

By Ashley Jennings | Last Updated: March 19, 2015

How to Prep & Clean Leeks

How to Prep & Clean Leeks
With their sweet and mellow taste, leeks make a great addition to many meals. A member of the onion family, they are more mild than a standard onion. I personally love to add them to soups and pasta dishes when I don’t want such a potent onion flavor.

The downside to leeks? As they grow, dirt and grit gets stuck in between all their layers, so you really need to clean them well before use.

Here’s my go-to method for making sure they are nice and clean every time.

How to Prep & Clean Leeks

First, give the whole leeks a quick rinse to remove any visible dirt on the outside.

How to Prep & Clean Leeks

Cut off the tough, bitter dark green ends and discard them (making sure to leave the pale green part of the leeks). You can save those dark green ends for use in homemade stock if you like, or just throw them out.

Next, cut off the roots of the leeks and discard those as well.

How to Prep & Clean Leeks

Slice the leeks in half lengthwise.

How to Prep & Clean Leeks

Then slice each half crosswise into the size you want the leeks for cooking (this will depend on a specific recipe, but I tend to cut them between 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size).

How to Prep & Clean Leeks

Add the sliced leeks to a bowl filled with cold water.  Use your hands to swish them around and separate all the layers. This process loosens all that dirt and grit, most of which will sink to the bottom of the bowl.

Use a slotted spoon, skimmer or even just your hands to remove the leeks from the bowl. The grit will be left behind in the water.

If your leeks are especially dirty, you can repeat this process again. Just discard the dirty water, refresh with clean, cold water and then repeat.

How to Prep & Clean Leeks

Pat the leeks dry and then use them however you would like!

About Ashley Jennings

Ashley Jennings is the blogger behind Cook Nourish Bliss, where she shares healthy, whole foods along with a few indulgent treats. Ashley is a home cook who loves to play in the kitchen, where she is constantly tripping over her hungry beagle.

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You can also rinse your leeks, after all the preparation you shown, with boiling water. It will get rid of some of the spiciness if your leeks are too strong. 🙂

Wonderful post! I purchased some leeks for a potato soup recipe but have never cooked them before. I wasn’t sure if the dark green leaves should be used, your photo tutorial is very helpful!

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