Related to both onions and garlic, leeks look like big scallions. Their subtle, sweet taste makes for a satisfying side dish,
a savory tart, or a luscious soup.
Season: Year-round; peak fall to early spring.
How to Choose Leeks
Look for straight, firm stalks with unblemished white bottoms and bright green leaves. Avoid leeks with very dark green tops or rounded (rather than flat) bottoms, which can be signs that the vegetable is overgrown, old, or both. Smaller leeks are the most tender.
How to Store Leeks
Cut off and discard the dark green tops but keep the roots intact. Stow unwashed and tightly wrapped in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
How to Prepare Leeks
As the plant grows, gritty soil gets trapped between its layers.
Here’s how to get it out of every crevice:
1. Cut off the dark green leaves an inch or so above the white part of the stalk and discard the greens (they’re bitter and tough). Trim and discard the roots. Halve the remaining stalk lengthwise, then cut into pieces of the desired size.
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.
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.