The leeks at the farmer’s market today were gorgeous.
Unfortunately, sometimes even the prettiest leeks are not so pretty inside once you get them home and begin chopping them. Because of the way leeks grow, they tend to accumulate soil in between their many concentric layers. Here’s a quick way to wash your leeks from the inside out.
1) This is a leek (I know, this may be obvious, but I have heard several people call something a leek that was in fact not a leek). Place your leek on a cutting board.
2) Chop off the top leaves, which are brittle, fibrous, and lacking much flavor. (You don't have to compost them; put them in the freezer with other veggie scraps and use them for your next batch of broth.)
3) Slice the leek in half, cutting down its vertical axis. Start at the end that was previously attached to the leaves and stop just before you reach the root end.
4) You now can fan the leaves with your thumb, like flipping the pages of a book. If your leek is super grungy, fan each side a few times to shake loose any dirt. (The leek I used for these photos was pretty immaculate, and hence you don’t see any dirt. But, you don’t always get this lucky.)
5) Finally, take the leek to the tap and fan the leaves a few times on each side under running water to wash away any remaining dirt.
6) Et voila! You now have a squeaky clean leek, ready to be chopped and incorporated into your next culinary masterpiece.