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12 Ways to Use Leeks

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12 Ways to Use Leeks


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.

Earlier: 8 Great Cleaning Shortcuts (Slideshow)

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Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Basics, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, Green Kitchen Tips, Side Dishes, Soups & Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian, ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
7:38AM PST on Jan 27, 2014

Love to grill them!

4:26AM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

Thank you for the good info and great recipes.

1:15AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013


10:54PM PDT on May 20, 2013

Yes Leeks are very useful! Thank you

7:08AM PDT on May 18, 2013

Thank you Katie, for Sharing this!

4:06AM PDT on May 2, 2013

Thanks for the recipes :) I LOVE leeks!

8:54PM PDT on Apr 22, 2013


3:34PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Leeks are delicious!

11:20PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

Love leeks thanks for these

12:41AM PDT on Apr 8, 2013

YUM! i love leeks...thanks for all the recipes!

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people are talking

Makes sense, thanks for sharing.

Leaving them alone while they're eating is particularly good advice.


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