Related to both garlic and onions but with a milder, sweeter flavor, leeks add punch to soups and sides without overpowering more subtle ingredients. Available year-round in most areas, they're at home in both hearty cold-weather dishes and light spring recipes. We love them sautéed and added to egg dishes, savory tarts, soups, and just about anywhere else you'd use sweet onions.
HOW TO BUY
Look for unblemished, firm stalks with bright green leaves. Avoid leeks with dark green tops or rounded (rather than flat) bottoms; they can be signs that the vegetable is overgrown, old, or both. Smaller, younger leeks are more tender and mild.
HOW TO STORE
Since leeks exude an aroma that can be absorbed by other foods in your fridge, wrap them loosely in a plastic bag for up to five days. Don’t wash until use, since moisture causes them to spoil.
HOW TO PREPARE
After chopping or slicing your leeks according to your preference, rinse them in cold water for a few minutes, separating the layers to remove any grit, and pat dry with kitchen towels. Instead of discarding the leafy green tops, save for use in soup stocks.