Leeks are a member of the onion family and can be used in similar ways. They have a delicate and sweet onion flavor that is often overlooked. In France they’re an everyday vegetable that are important additions to many dishes and often served alone.
Storage and Handling:
Store Leeks in a loosely closed plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper drawer for up to two weeks. The longer you keep them, you may ‘lose’ an outer layer or two. When you are ready to use simply peel the outer layer away to reveal a beautifully intact leek.
Always give leeks a good rinse before cooking with them. They are surrounded by soil while they grow and often have dirt and grit that finds it way into the layers. The easiest way to do this is to cut them in half lengthwise and rinse under a thin stream of cold running water while gently spreading the layers apart with your fingers.
Slice them into half moons or rounds. Fill a bowl with cold water and drop your sliced leeks into the water. Swish them around in the water with your fingers while breaking apart the layers. Allow them to sit for 3 to 5 minutes and all the grit will fall to the bottom of the bowl and the leeks will float! Gently scoop them out onto a kitchen towel, give them a quick pat dry and your ready to cook!
Leeks are more versatile than most people know. They are a wonderful aromatic that can be used in soups, stews and braises. They can be sautéed with other veggies to add a nice gentle onion flavor but are also wonderful on their own! They can be braised, roasted, sautéed and grilled. You can also steam leeks and this is recommended before roasting and grilling.