A member of the allium family, leeks count onions, shallots and garlic among their cousins, though they look like giant scallions. Leeks are perhaps the least popular among the bunch, which is quite a shame — their subtle, and slightly sweet flavor is nothing short of delectable. The downside? Well, leeks are a bit of a pain to clean, and are usually more expensive than their more popular cousins. Click through for some great recipe ideas, and see below for some basic info on leeks.
In Season: Year-round, though their peek time is between late fall and spring.
How to Buy: The best leeks have fresh, green tops (but not too dark) — any yellowing or wilted tops are a no go. The stalks should be straight, firm, and relatively small. The smaller the leek, the more tender it will be.
How to Store: Depending on how fresh the leeks are, they will last for anywhere between 5 and 10 days. Store in the fridge, wrapped loosely in plastic.
How to Clean: Leeks are dirty, really, really dirty. Think you’ve got it clean? Surprise, there’s more dirt lurking in there! The best way to clean leeks is as follows:
1.. Cut the dark green parts off of the leeks, from about 1 inch after the white starts giving way to light green.
2. Cut root off as closely as possible.
3. Cut the white and light green parts in half lengthwise.
4. Add the leeks to a bowl of cold water and swish around a few times.
5. Lift, don’t pour, leeks out of bowl and into colander to rinse off any remaining grime.