This member of the onion family adds a deliciously pungent note to soups and sautés. Its downside? As the plant grows, gritty soil gets trapped between its layers. Here’s how to get it out of every crevice.
Step 1: Cut off and discard the dark green leaves an inch or so above the white part of the stalk (the greens are bitter and tough). Then trim and discard the roots. Halve the remaining stalk lengthwise, then cut into pieces of the desired size.
Step 2: Fill a bowl with cold water, add the cut leeks, and swish them around a few times. With your hands loosely cupped, lift the leeks out of the bowl and place them on a plate or work surface. (the grit will remain behind in the bowl.) Discard the water and grit. Fill the bowl with fresh water and repeat until the water is clear.