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How to Buy and Cook With Leeks

In Season: Leeks

Along with Spring onions, leeks have been all over the farmers markets. Although they're in season year-round here in California, lately they've been too fresh-looking to pass up. Like scallions, these alliums are long stems of bundled leaf sheaths, but they have a much milder, mellower flavor, making them a favorite even amongst the onion-averse. For more ideas about choosing, caring for, and consuming them, keep on reading.

At the market, seek out firm leeks with white necks, vivid, perky green stalks, and unblemished roots and leaves. The smaller they are, the more tender they will be; buy more than necessary to allow for volume loss due to trimming and cooking. Keep leeks unwashed, untrimmed, and wrapped loosely in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a week or so, or freeze them for up to three months. Consume cooked leeks the same day.

When preparing this root vegetable, be sure to remove any tough or damaged outer leaves, and give them a thorough rinse to remove all traces of dirt. Then slice and enjoy them raw, boiled, fried, or sautéed. Here are a few of my favorite ways to consume them:


What do you like to do with leeks?

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lovesitc1 lovesitc1 5 years
I just hate to waste food. I do the same thing with the "woody" stalks of asparagus. The really, really woody ends, I may compost, but so much of what typically gets thrown out can be sliced thinly and sauteed. Those are delicious too!
lauren lauren 5 years
WOW, I had no idea that I could use the green part too! Thanks for inspiring me to give it a try the next time I pick up leeks!
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 5 years
Lovesitc, I like that you use the green tops, too! They are so underrated! Even though they're not common in Western recipes, Chinese cuisine makes use of them all the time.
lovesitc1 lovesitc1 5 years
I saute the dark green tops, sliced thinly, in a little butter, salt and pepper. The other half, I spray with olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of s + p, and put under the broiler for about 10mins, flipping halfway through. Delish!
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