Learn how to cut leeks, including tips for cleaning, trimming, chopping, and slicing them, in this step-by-step tutorial. You’ll learn what park of the leek to eat, how to prepare leeks for soup and other recipes, and how to cook with them.
Leeks are a wonderful addition to recipes, providing a milder flavor than most other onions. They are a staple of many soups, including the beloved potato leek soup, and work well in stir fries, roasted vegetable dishes, pizzas, and more. You can pretty much use a leek wherever you would an onion.
If you’re new to preparing this vegetable, however, you may not know how to cut leeks. Plus, you may be wondering which part of the leek is used in cooking. This tutorial includes photos and a short video to show you how to clean and cut leeks.
How to Trim Leeks
The first step in preparing leeks is to trim off the root.
Next, slice off the dark green part. Only the white and light green parts are used for recipes.
How to Slice Leeks
After you trim your leeks, it’s time to cut them. Most recipes call for thinly sliced leeks in the shape of circles or half-moons. To prepare leeks for potato leek soup, for example, you should cut them into one of those shapes. To cut leeks into circles, just slice the white and light green part crosswise.
If you want to cut leeks into half-moons, also known as chopping them, slice the white and light green part in half lengthwise first.
Then, slice the halves crosswise.
How to Clean Leeks
The best way to clean leeks is to slice them first, following the above directions, and then place them in a bowl of water. Leeks can hold onto a lot of dirt in between their layers, so it’s important to clean them well before using them in cooking.
Use your hands to swish the leeks around in the water to remove any stubborn dirt. Next, drain the leeks into a colander over the sink or another bowl. Rinse the leeks with water and pat dry.
How to Store Cut Leeks
Keep freshly cut leeks in an airtight container or tightly sealed plastic bag with as much air as possible removed. Store in the refrigerator. Use within 3 days for best results. You can also freeze leeks to extend their storage time.
In case you cannot find the answer to your questions in the above sections, here are some other frequently asked questions about cutting leeks.
Most recipes call for the white and light green part of leeks. You can technically eat the dark green part, but it has a much tougher texture. If you don’t want to waste this part, consider saving it to make homemade vegetable stock or use it in recipes where you cook it very well until tender.
Leeks are usually cut in a different way if they are going to be roasted or braised than if they are going to be used in soups or another recipe for which they will be sautéed. To prepare leeks for roasting, trim off the root and dark green part. Then, slice the white and light green part in half lengthwise. Keep them like that for roasting or for making recipes like my Caramelized Leeks.
Leeks can be eaten raw. Since they are milder than most other onions, some people prefer raw leeks to raw onions in salads or similar recipes.
The amount that a leek will yield depends on its size. A small leek may only yield about ½ cup chopped, whereas a medium to large leek yields closer to 1 cup chopped. Remember, you typically only cut the white and light green part of a leek, so the dark green top and leaves do not count towards its size.
How to Eat Leeks
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How to Cut Leeks
- 1 leek
- First, trim the leeks by slicing off the root and the dark green part.
- Cut the white/light green part crosswise into slices.
- First cut the white/light green part in half lengthwise. Then, cut the halves crosswise into half-moon pieces.
- After slicing the leeks, place them in a bowl with water. Swish them around with your fingers to remove any dirt.
- Drain the washed leeks in a colander. Pat dry.
- Store freshly cut leeks in an airtight container or tightly sealed bag in the refrigerator. Use within 3 days for best results.
- Leeks taste great in soups, stir fries, and pizzas. You can also use leeks in place of an onion in nearly any recipe.
Happy leek-eating! – Lizzie