Leeks grow in the soil, and tend to have some soil particles between their layers. The simpliest way to properly clean your leeks is to chop off the dark green tops. Slice the leeks into many disks, or make one long slice down the length of the leek (depending how you want your leeks to appear). Put the leek disks in a bowl of cool water and separate the layers into rings. This will allow any soil particles to fall to the bottom of the bowl. If you cut your leeks long ways, you can wash the leeks under running water and fan your finger across the layers, like you are flipping through the pages of a book.
Now, if you want to grill or roast your leeks whole, removing the soil particles between the layers is not the a possible route, because afterall, they are whole. That’s when you just have to shrug your shoulders, and admit, everyone eats a little dirt in their lives!
Or, you can try slicing them long ways, but don’t cut them completely from end to end. Keep one end intact; this way your can wash your leek (using the fanning method), but help to keep it together when you want to grill or roast it, and still have it stay together for a nice presentation.
Now, if you are interested in the picture to the right…. It was in my “leek” photo folder. It has leeks, mushrooms, chicken, dried apricots, and rice. It was a pretty hardy side dish if I remember correctly. See….you don’t always have to make soup with leeks!
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