They are part of the onion family, look like large scallions. A cylindrical bundle of flat green leaves grown from a straight white bulb about 4 centimetres in diameter.
Pencil thin baby leeks are sometimes available. The bulb and the light green part of the leaves are edible, with a mild sweet onion flavour. Popular in French cuisine, leeks are mainly used cooked.
Keep refrigerate up to a week.
Prep and cook:
Leeks hold sand and dirt between the layers. To clean, first trim the roots and a few centimetres off the bulb, and the dark green tops of the leaves. Remove any tough outer leaves. If using, sliced leeks, place slices in a sink full of cold water. Leave in the water sever minutes, to let the sand sink. Lift out to drain, pat dry. If using whole leek halves, cut it in half lengthwise, hold it root end up and rinse while gently separating the layers. To use raw in salads, shred or cut the white part into matchsticks. To cook halves or slices: boil, steam, sautéed, braised, roasted, or add to soups, sauces, and dishes like quiche and stir fries. ( Careful to not overcook, leeks become mushy).
Goes with: Herbs, spices, and flavours such as butter, cream, garlic, hollandaise, mustard, olive oil, vinaigrette, wine.
Foods: Bacon, beets, eggs, gruyere, mushrooms, parmesan, potatoes, seafood, tomatoes.
Contains quercetin, allicin, and other compounds that may help prevent certain cancers.