Squeaky Clean Leeks

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2016

The best way to prep leeks for cooking.

The typical way to clean a leek—trim the leaf ends and the roots, cut the leek in half lengthwise, and wash grit and sediment from the halves under cold running water—doesn’t always do the job. The greatest concentration of dirt is usually found at the leek’s base, where the layers are tightly packed. Unless the leeks are going to be served halved (as in braised leeks), we prefer this method. We recommend using three times as much water as there are leeks for the rinsing step.

1. Lay trimmed, halved leeks cut side down on cutting board and cut to desired size.

2. Transfer leeks to bowl of cold water and rub together until layers separate. Set aside for 1 minute to allow grit to settle to bottom of bowl.

3. Lift leeks from water and transfer to colander to drain. (Do not pour leeks from bowl into colander, or you’ll pour dirt over them again.)