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Getting the Most out of Leeks

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2015

Here's a few test kitchen tips for getting the most out of your leeks.

Since just the white and light green parts of a leek are tender—the tough dark green parts are suitable only for making stock—it pays to select specimens that have a higher proportion of the desirable light-colored base. How you prep them makes a difference, too: The traditional method is to simply chop off the leek at the point where light gives way to dark, but the usable pale, tender portion actually extends above this line in the interior of the vegetable. To preserve that part, we’ve adopted a new trimming method that results in a roughly 15 percent greater yield.

1. Cut leek diagonally from point where leaves start to darken to middle of dark green portion.

2. Peek inside to determine where light green turns dark. Cut diagonally again, preserving light portion.

3. Repeat twice to create pointed shape with pale leaves.