How to Prepare a Leek

Learn to wash, cut and cook these "giant green onions".

 
Leeks, or "those things that look like giant green onions" as you may know them, are one of the produce department’s hidden gems. Their sweet and mild onion flavor is an excellent addition to soups, casseroles, pizza and more. Preparing a leek is surprisingly easy, so you'll have no excuse for not trying them in all of your favorite foods.

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1 Trim

Begin by cutting off the root and dark green portions of the leek. It may seem like a lot of the leek is going to waste, but leeks are usually priced per bunch rather than by weight, so you're not paying for the discarded portion. The stiff green ends of the leek can be used to make vegetable stock, but are otherwise inedible.
 

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2 Rinse

Because leeks push their way up through the dirt as they grow, sand easily gets lodged between the layers. To remove the sand, slice the leek lengthwise to expose the multiple layers and then rinse well under cool running water. The sliced open leek can be steamed or drizzled with olive oil and then grilled or broiled for an elegant side dish.
 

3 Slice

To slice the leek, lay it down on the flat cut side for stability and then slice across the leek into thin half rounds. Thinly sliced leeks are wonderful when sautéed in butter and add great visual appeal as a topping for other foods.
 

4 Dice

Dicing a leek is perfect for when you want all the great flavor of a leek, but prefer them to blend in visually. Once again, lay the leek on the flat side for stability, then slice it lengthwise into thin strips. Carefully slice across the strips to create a small dice. Diced leeks can be sautéed, fried, or tossed into soups and salads.
 

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5 Saute in Butter

Sauteing leeks in butter brings out their natural sweetness and creates a tender texture. Use your sauteed leeks to top baked potatoes, pizzas, pasta, or grilled meat. Sliced leeks can also be added to soups or quickly stir fried with other vegetables.
 

6 Enjoy

Or, you can just enjoy their pure, delicate flavor alone, without interference from other ingredients. C'est magnifique! 
 

About Budget Bytes

Beth from Budget Bytes is a food lover and a number cruncher who dishes up  healthy recipes on her blog that won't put a huge dent in your wallet. She is the author of the cookbook, Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half, and she also works as a microbiologist in a hospital laboratory. Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.